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Nolan Ryan named CEO of the Year in SMU Cox CEO Sentiment Survey

Baseball Hall of Famer heads the Texas Rangers baseball team

SMU Cox Assistant Dean of Marketing and Communications Lynda Oliver congratulates baseball hall of famer Nolan Ryan on being named 2012 CEO of the Year at the unveiling ceremony held at the Collins Center.
SMU Cox Assistant Dean of Marketing and Communications Lynda Oliver congratulates Baseball Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan on being named 2012 CEO of the Year.

November 13, 2012

DALLAS (SMU) As part of an annual survey conducted by SMU Cox School of Business, area business leaders were asked to nominate their choice for "CEO of the Year,” the top CEO/president currently serving in DFW based on organizational and DFW community impact. 

Nolan Ryan, CEO of the Texas Rangers since 2011, got the nod. 

Ryan was on hand for the announcement, which was made at a reception co-hosted with DCEO magazine at the Collins Center at SMU Cox on Monday night.  Ryan said he was thoroughly surprised by the honor. The baseball hall of famer says he approaches business much the way he approached his playing career.

“You prepare for the next season and try to learn from whatever experience you came from,” said Ryan.

SMU Cox honored Ryan with the announcement that a brick engraved with his name and CEO of the Year 2012 title will be permanently placed in SMU’s Centennial Promenade, to be constructed next to Cox School on Ownby Drive to mark the 100th anniversary of SMU’s opening.

“You’ve certainly made history here in Texas, and we’re honored to welcome you into the SMU family and to leave your mark on SMU’s history in a way we can celebrate for many years to come,” said Lynda Oliver, assistant dean of SMU Cox Marketing and Communications department.

Ryan is profiled in the December issue of DCEO, which features the complete results of the annual SMU Cox CEO Sentiment Survey™, on newsstands as of Nov. 13 or online.   Comprehensive survey results can also be viewed at

This year marks the sixth annual survey of area business leaders about their economic outlook for the coming 12 months. The survey is compiled and conducted by SMU Cox Professor Miguel Quiñones, O. Paul Corley Distinguished Chair of Organizational Behavior, and Robert Rasberry, assistant professor of management and organizations.

Although CEOs were pessimistic about the world economy last year, this year their answers reflect a bit more optimism. Invitations to participate in the annual SMU Cox CEO Sentiment Survey™ were sent to a comprehensive list of DFW-area CEOs, presidents and business owners, with 346 respondents completing the survey.  

Overall, business leaders’ answers reflect what Quiñones and Rasberry call a “slow train to recovery.”  Just more than half the respondents expect the world economy to worsen this year, compared to 60 percent last year, and many still expect the world economy to face significant headwinds in the year ahead.

As for the U.S. economy, 33 percent of respondents expect an improvement in the U.S. economy as opposed to 27 percent who expect it to deteriorate.  Last year, 40 percent expected conditions to worsen in 2012. Locally, 68 percent of respondents believe their revenues will increase between now and the end of 2013, compared to 62 percent who believed that about revenues in 2012.

Quiñones and Rasberry note that “this is the largest predicted increase since 2007, when 80 percent of respondents expected increases in their organizations’ revenues.” Slightly more than 39 percent of respondents expect to increase their staffing levels over the coming year and employee pay raises are expected in 52 percent of respondents’ organizations.       

The SMU Cox CEO Sentiment Survey examines other factors that pertain to the outlook for DFW businesses, rates the DFW area and explores how leaders feel about leading in difficult times, as well as their own job security.

About SMU Cox

SMU's Edwin L. Cox School of Business offers a full range of business education programs, including BBA, full-time MBA, Professional MBA (PMBA), Executive MBA (EMBA), Master of Science in Accounting, Master of Science in Entrepreneurship, Master of Science in Finance and Executive Education. The school also offers a number of unique resources and activities for students, ranging from its Business Leadership Center (BLC), Caruth Institute for Entrepreneurship, Maguire Energy Institute and Global Leadership Program to its Associate Board Executive Mentoring Program and an international alumni network with chapters in more than 20 countries.

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