NVIDIA Chief Jen-Hsun Huang Gets Nod From Harvard As One Of World's Top CEOs

We have a lot of respect for Jen-Hsun Huang, the fiery boss of NVIDIA who once famously told analysts that the GPU maker was going to "open a can of whoop ass" on Intel, which at the time was talking a big game about Nehalem and Larrabee. He's done some wonderful things at NVIDIA, the company he co-founded over two decades ago, and it's earning him props from Harvard.

In a new study in the November issue of Harvard Business Review, Mr. Huang was named the 29th best-performing CEO in the world. That's high praise, especially coming from one of the most esteemed universities on the planet (Harvard Business Publishing is a wholly owned subsidiary of Harvard University).

Breaking it down by category, Mr. Huang jumps to No. 4 among CEOs in the Information Technology field, behind only John Chambers (Cisco Systems), Stephen Luczo (Seagate Technology), and Fujio Mitarai (Canon). There were five other IT CEOs that made the top 100 list, including Terry Gou of Hon Hai Precision Industry and Marc Benieoff of SalesForce.

Jen-Hsun Huang

HBR says its rankings of CEOs isn't just a snapshot in time or based on recent performance, but a "measure of enduring success." The publication takes into consideration each CEO's entire rein, analyzing "performance from day one of his or her tenure."

"Our goal is to create a list that gets beyond the most recent quarterly or even annual results," HBR states. It's the big picture, in other words.

In years past, HBR's ranking was based solely on stock market numbers, such as total shareholder return and market capitalization. This time around HBR added environmental, social, and governance (ESG) performance to sort of balance things out and paint a more complete picture.

NVIDIA's stock has been up and down since going public, though it's been climbing the past several years, increasing more than 140 percent since the beginning of 2010. The company also recently set a new record in discrete graphics market share with a dominating 76.4 percent stake, according to Mercury Research.

Congrats to Mr. Huang for the recognition.