The tech CEO most likely to be elected president? Elon Musk

A new survey finds that, among the best-known tech CEOs, Elon Musk is the one who would garner the most votes for president

Tesla CEO Elon Musk
Credit: Heisenberg Media CC BY 2.0

If you feel that running a major tech company is great preparation for running the United States, then you’re probably already planning to vote for former HP CEO Carly Fiorina in 2016. However, if, hypothetically, a handful of the most well-known current tech CEOs were all running for president next year, which would you vote for? Based on the results of a new survey, Elon Musk would win.

The online survey, the results of which were published this week, was conducted in May by Survata and it asked 1,500 people which of the following tech CEOs they’d be most likely to vote for, assuming they were all running for president: Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, Apple’s Tim Cook, Yahoo’s Marissa Mayer, Tesla’s Elon Musk, Microsoft’s Satya Nadella, Google’s Larry Page, and Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg. Musk, also known for being the cofounder of PayPal and the CEO of SpaceX, was the choice of 13% of respondents, followed by Page (11%), Cook (7%), Bezos (6%), Zuckerberg (12%), Nadella (3%), and Mayer (3%). 52% of respondents threw up their hands and chose “I don’t know.”

The idea of whether people would vote for Musk for president was kicked around on Quora in late 2013. Of the people who weighed in, most thought there was no guarantee his skills would translate and that politics would be a poor use of Musk’s considerable talents.

“He is at his best where is he now. The negative, vicious nature of presidential politics would only sap and kill his creative energy.  And the nation will suffer as a result.” Perry Huang

“I've not seen him demonstrate political abilities on par with what we need from Presidents.  Democracy and the dynamics of a nation are a considerably different problem set from building great companies.” Doug Dingus

“Great businessmen do not necessarily make great political leaders.” Mike Prozan

If employee ratings of tech CEOs are any indication of presidential prospects, Musk wouldn’t be the top choice. Instead, based on employee approval atings from Glassdoor, Larry Page would win among the seven CEOs Survata considered. Page received a 96% approval rating, followed by Zuckerberg (95%), Cook (94%), Musk (90%), Nadella (86%), Bezos (81%), and Mayer (68%).

Of course, the question of whether Musk would make a good president is purely hypothetical, since, barring a constitutional amendment, he’s precluded from evening running for president since he was born in South Africa. So, for now, if you’re pining for a tech CEO in the White House, you’ll just have go with Fiorina or resign yourself to four more years of having a non-techie as president.

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