Never mind the résumé. How hot is the C.E.O.?

“Call it the ‘C.E.O. beauty premium,'” Andrew Ross Sorkin reports for The New York Times. “Two economists say their study shows that investors assign higher share values to companies run by attractive chief executives, that these chiefs are paid more than less-appealing counterparts and that the better looking the C.E.O.’s, the better they are at undertaking financially successful deals.”

“The conclusion of the unusual academic study — a sort of corporate version of ‘Hot or Not’ — is that shareholders are as easily swayed by the glint in the eye of a chief executive as they are by a company’s actual numbers, at least in the short term,” Sorkin reports. “According to a working paper by Joseph T. Halford and Hung-Chia Hsu at the University of Wisconsin, a good-looking C.E.O.’s appearance had ‘a positive and significant impact on stock returns surrounding the first day when the C.E.O. is on the job,’ worth about 43 basis points in increased stock value compared with a C.E.O. 10 percent less attractive.”

MacDailyNews Take: You knew this was coming…

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer (photo by Brigitte Lacombe)
Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer (photo by Brigitte Lacombe)

MacDailyNews Take: You’re welcome.

“Mr. Halford and Mr. Hsu loaded the pictures of 677 chief executives onto a website called, which measures what it describes as ‘neoclassical beauty’ by looking at the symmetry of a face — ‘the ratio of nose to ear length, the ratio of eye width compared to inner-ocular distance, the ratio of nose width to face width, the ratio of face width to face height, and the ratio of mouth width to nose width,'” Sorkin reports. “Marissa Mayer, the chief executive of Yahoo, among the top 5 percent of attractive executives, according to the study, scored an 8.45 out of 10 on the Facial Attractiveness Index, or F.A.I… In comparison, the actress Angelina Jolie scored about 8.5, the economists said. Her significant other, the actor Brad Pitt, scored an 8.46. (It’s worth noting that the average score was no different between male and female chief executives.)”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Note: For kicks, we threw Tim Cook’s official Apple bio photo into and it returned a “facial beauty score” of 6.93.

We also ran Steve Jobs’ classic Apple bio photo through Anaface and it scored 8.22.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “David G.” for the heads up.]


    1. BTW, for those of you thinking that you might want to go to and upload pix of your face, or other friends or family members or girlfriends/boyfriends…
      I found this on site: (basically, you’re signing away rights to those pix):
      On July 1st, 2009 Forbes[3] published an article about the newly launched site, noting the service’s conditions of use which practically grant the company a license to reappropriate the user-submitted content for commercial purposes.
      a. For content that is covered by intellectual property rights, like photos and videos (“IP content”), you specifically give us the following permission, subject to your privacy and application settings: you grant us a non-exclusive, transferable, sub-licensable, royalty-free, worldwide license to use any IP content that you post on or in connection with FaceFigure (“IP License”). This IP License ends when you delete your IP content or your account (except to the extent your content has been shared with others, and they have not deleted it).”

  1. Don’t get me wrong. Tim Cook isn’t bad looking, but is closer to the likes of a California Condor than say, Marissa Mayer.

    Steve on the other hand was a contender. I am sure he got his share of love letters.

  2. Interesting study.
    Consider if you will, Mr. Steve Ballmer.
    I’ve been trying to load one of his images to
    The site won’t return a result.
    …apparently the system can’t handle negative numbers.

  3. The reality is attractive people, especially attractive women, have an easier time getting people to listen to them. So long as they know what they are doing and have good ideas, that’s an advantage for them.

  4. I’m all for Angelina Jolie for Apple’s next CEO. I’ve been in love with her ever since she was on Star Trek. If somebody like Ballmer can be a CEO, than she’s over qualified in comparison. Besides, I’d like to see more women in lead roles at major corporations. Tim Cook is a decent CEO, but he’s not the most attractive guy I’ve ever seen. Ballmer wins hands down as the ugliest CEO ever. Not too many of them have a brow ridge, with simian characteristics, and beady eyes, UGH!

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