Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) chairman Mukesh Ambani has been ranked second on Brand Finance’s annual report on the world’s top CEOs for the year 2023.

The Brand Guardianship Index 2023 saw the rise of Nvidia CEO, Jensen Huang, and Mukesh Ambani of Reliance to 1st and 2nd position, respectively. They both now rank above last year’s leader Microsoft’s Satya Nadella, who now sits in the 3rd place.

Ambani, who's also the Managing Director of RIL, is the longest-serving CEO in the ranking at 40 years. He is also the 9th richest person in the world, as per the Bloomberg Billionaire Index. The yearly report, which was released during an event hosted in association with Deloitte during the World Economic Forum 2023 at Davos, says as the face of the Reliance brand, Ambani continues to oversee Reliance’s transition into green energy, and the diversification of its telecoms and retail branches, including the launch of its new FMCG brand, Independence.

"Ambani has demonstrated a long-term commitment to positive change, through the investment of legacy revenue from Reliance’s petrochemicals business into building a more diverse and sustainable business portfolio," the report adds.

According to the report, Ambani has gained increased mainstream awareness globally, since news broke in 2022 of his potential interest in buying Arsenal Football Club, a valuable English football club, which plays in the top-flight English Premier League.

Mukesh Ambani's triple bet on digital, retail and green energy has kept the fortunes in favour of India’s largest company. The volatile environment notwithstanding, Ambani raised ₹2.92 lakh crore in FY21. He also allocated ₹75,000 crore to build four Giga factories at the Dhirubhai Ambani Green Energy Complex in Jamnagar, with an aim to create 100GW of solar energy by 2030.

At the spectrum auction last year, his telecom company Reliance Jio acquired the largest wireless spectrum for 5G, which includes 700MHz, 800MHz, 1,800MHz, 3,300MHz, and 26GHz bands aggregating ₹88,078 crore. On the retail front, the company is the largest in the country with 16,617 physical stores in operation. The e-commerce platform, JioMart, which works on a hyperlocal model, delivers to over 260 towns. It has onboarded around two million merchants. RIL has also spent $4 billion in FY22 to expand logistics, tying up with local merchants for last-mile delivery and acquiring capabilities and brands.

In the first half of FY23, RIL reported a 19.4% increase in net profit to ₹34,955 crore, and a 41.7% surge in revenue to ₹496,479 crore. RIL had posted a net profit of ₹60,705 crore in FY22 — a 23.56% rise year-on-year — on revenue of ₹7,39,518 crore, a 43.81% increase.

Meanwhile, Jensen Huang, who's ranked number 1 CEO by Brand Finance Brand Guardianship Index, has overseen Nvidia’s further advancement into the next era of computing, through innovation in the likes of artificial intelligence, digital biology, climate sciences, and autonomous vehicles and robotics, says the report. Similarly, Microsoft’s Satya Nadella (3rd) continues to be central to Microsoft’s culture of teamwork, innovation, and inclusivity, says the report. The top 1o list is dominated by Indian-origin executives. Nadella is followed by Adobe’s Shantanu Narayen (4th), Google’s Sundar Pichai (5th), and Deloitte’s Punit Renjen (6th).

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