Mark Zuckerberg Better Than Tim Cook and Larry Page? – Facebook Inc (FB), Google (GOOG), Apple (AAPL)

It’s not breaking news that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has struggled recently, but Mark Zuckerberg beat out Tim Cook and Larry Page the title as the best CEO of 2013? Really? In 2012, Businessweek had Zuckerberg in a list composed of the worst CEOs of the year. What a difference one year can make.

Facebook Inc. (FB)In order to make this list, at least 100 employees had to give the CEO an approval rating. Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB)‘s employees did far more than that. Last year, according to the same survey, Zuckerberg received an 85% approval rating — this year he received a 99% approval rating. Apple’s Tim Cook fell to 93% from 97% in that same year – that 4 percentage point fall represented 18 places. Glassdoor says, “CEO approval ratings are calculated similar to presidential approval ratings; employees are asked: “Do you approve or disapprove of the way your CEO is leading the company?”

Facebook’s and Apple’s stocks have fallen YTD, but Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has fallen nearly 15% more than Facebook’s approximate 4.4% decrease. In the past year, Apple has actually out performed Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) by nearly 6% due to over a 30% decrease from its stock. Apple has seen annual increases for over a decade in revenues, earnings per share (EPS), free cash flow (FCF), operating margins, net margins, return on equity (ROE), and return on invested capital (ROIC) – yet its stock falls. Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) has increased revenues by approximately 258% since 2010. FCF, EPS, ROE, ROIC, etc… are all down, but they are also skewed because of its recent IPO. Its FCF yield is 0.5% while Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s is 11.1%.

Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) is universally recognized as a great company with a great CEO. In fact, Glassdoor listed it 6th in its “50 Best Places to Work” list of 2013, while Fortune listed it first overall. 90% of Google’s employees would recommend a job opening to a friend, and 94% of its employees approve of Larry Page as CEO. This 94% approval rating lands him as the 11th best CEO of 2013. Unlike Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB), Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG)’s stock has increased over 31% in the past year and approximately 13% YTD.