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T. Boone Pickens named CEO of the Year
in SMU Cox CEO Sentiment Survey™

DFW CEOs increasingly optimistic in 7th annual survey

November 18, 2013

Dallas (SMU) – Legendary Texas oil and gas executive T. Boone Pickens, who chairs the hedge fund BP Capital Management, emerged as the top vote-getter in the annual CEO Sentiment Survey™ conducted by SMU Cox School of Business.

T. Boone PickensThe survey asks area business leaders to gauge their feelings on the area economy and business climate, and seeks their choice for "CEO of the Year,” the top CEO/president currently serving in DFW based on organizational and DFW community impact.

Pickens was on hand for the announcement, which was made at a reception co-hosted with D CEO magazine at the Collins Center at SMU Cox on November 13.

“I moved to Dallas in 1989,” Pickens said. “Only good things have happened to me in 25 years in Dallas. This is one of the highlights. I think this year when they decided to pick the winner, they picked the one with the most experience. I’ve been CEO a long time, but [age] 85 has got to win it for you.”

In addition to Pickens’ honor, the top 10 “CEOs of the Year,” as determined by survey responses, were also recognized at the reception for the first time this year. They are, in alphabetical order:

  • Joel Allison of Baylor Scott & White Health
  • Norm Bagwell of Bank of Texas
  • Mike Berry of Hillwood
  • Doug Hawthorne of Texas Health Resources
  • Ray Hunt of Hunt Consolidated Inc.
  • John McWhorter of Baylor University Medical Center
  • Randall Stephenson of AT&T
  • Kip Tindell of The Container Store
  • Kelcy Warren of Energy Transfer Partners

The event previewed the release of the December issue of D CEO magazine, which features a profile of Pickens, who graces the cover. The package also includes the complete results of the annual SMU Cox CEO Sentiment Survey™. The magazine will be available on newsstands on Thursday, Nov. 28. It’s also available online beginning today, November 18.

Comprehensive survey results can also be viewed at

This year marks the seventh annual survey of area business leaders about their economic outlook for the coming 12 months. The survey is compiled and conducted by SMU Cox professors Miguel Quiñones, O. Paul Corley Distinguished Chair of Organizational Behavior, and Robert Rasberry, assistant professor of management and organizations. In this year’s survey, CEOs showed an increasing sense of optimism about the economy, especially compared to more pessimistic answers the past two years. 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 245 respondents completing the survey.

Overall, business leaders’ answers reflect what Quiñones and Rasberry describe as a “renewed sense of optimism about the economy and their businesses.” The first part of the survey measures how respondents performed against their performance goals for last year; 65 percent either met or exceeded profit targets. The survey also shows a marked improvement regarding expectations for the world economy. This year, 34 percent of respondents expect the world economy to worsen in the coming year, significantly fewer than the approximately 50 percent who felt that way in last year’s survey and the 60 percent last who felt pessimistic about the world outlook in 2011.

As for the U.S. economy, 35 percent of this year’s CEOs expect the U.S. economy to improve, a slight increase from the 2012 survey, but a vast improvement over the 13 percent who felt that way in 2011. Quiñones and Raspberry find that regionally, “we are almost back to the record level of optimism documented in the first CEO Sentiment Survey in 2007.” The survey results show 66 percent of respondents “anticipate an improvement in our already highly performing regional economy,” up from 55 percent last year.

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

The Cox School of Business was originally established in 1920 on the campus of Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas and named in honor of benefactor Edwin L. Cox in 1978. SMU Cox offers a full range of undergraduate and graduate business education programs, including the BBA, Full-Time MBA, Professional MBA (PMBA), Executive MBA (EMBA), Master of Science in Accounting, Master of Science in Business Analytics, Master of Science in Entrepreneurship, Master of Science in Finance, Master of Science in Management, Master of Science in Sport Management and Executive Education. The school also offers a number of unique resources and activities for students, including the Business Leadership Center (BLC), the Caruth Institute for Entrepreneurship, the Maguire Energy Institute, the Global Leadership Program and the Associate Board Executive Mentoring Program, as well as an international alumni network with chapters in more than 20 countries.

Media Contact:

Anna Martinez