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Ma Huateng, ‘world’s best CEO’

Tencent Holdings chairman and CEO Ma Huateng, also known as Pony Ma, was named among the world’s best CEOs for the second consecutive year. He was named by Barron’s, a financial weekly published by Dow Jones & Company, China Daily reported.

This is the 15th year Barron’s has released a World’s Best CEOs list, and the uniqueness of this appellation is the selected 30 chief executives aren’t ranked, and instead separated into three groups: visionary founders, growth leaders and change agents.

In another repeat of last year, Chinese tech chair Jack Ma was categorized as a visionary founder, along with Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett, CEO Jeffrey Bezos and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

Advanced Micro Devices CEO Lisa Su is a Chinese face among the 11 new arrivals on this year’s list, the report said.

Facebook’s Zuckerberg and Alphabet’s (Google) Larry Page remain on the list despite widespread criticism for their market dominance and handling of user data, mainly because growth at their companies is still explosive, according to Barron’s.

Ma, 47, has refocused Tencent on providing cloud services for companies, Barron’s said. He has also introduced measures to curb teenage videogame addiction.

The second-richest man in China, he is widely admired. During Chinese New Year, Tencent employees lined up at its Shenzhen headquarters to get a lucky red envelope from Ma. The line reportedly went around the building and up to the 48th floor.

Last year was tough for Ma and Tencent Holdings, Barron’s said. The share price swooned as global tech sank, the Chinese government froze new videogame approvals, and slower Chinese growth probably hurt ad spending.

Plus, the trade war between China and the US meant that Chinese viewers couldn’t see the finale of Game of Thrones on Tencent’s online video platform.

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