Investors looking for business leaders who have successfully steered their firms through the current economic hard times may want to pay closer attention to Chief Executive magazine's CEO Wealth Creation Index, which ranks the top 50 CEOs on their ability to produce a higher level of true economic value for shareholders.

Priceline (PCLN) CEO Jeff Boyd topped this year's list. That honor is primarily due to his success in expanding the company's online travel business into international markets -- while keeping a lid on operating costs and stealing market share from competitors like (EXPE).

But the Wealth Creation Index doesn't just reward companies for increasing share price through accounting measures or cost cutting. It also focuses on a concept called "economic margin," which measures a company's ability to make money in excess of its risk-adjusted cost of capital. Companies on the list were evaluated on their three-year performance, from June 2007 to June 2010, so the CEO's leadership could be appraised over varying conditions.

The Good, Bad and Wealth-Destroying

Odds are good that a company able create wealth during the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression can also accelerate its money-making powers once the economy again picks up steam. With that in mind, the Chief Executive list might be a good place for investors to find companies with the potential for sustainable growth in the future.

CEOs on the Top 50 Wealth Creators list delivered an average total shareholder return of 73.3% since June 2007. By contrast, companies in the S&P 500 delivered total shareholder returns of 14.9% over the same period.

In addition to Priceline's Boyd, the top 10 CEOs who created wealth for their shareholders are Dan Amos of AFLAC (AFL), J. Christopher Donahue of Federated Investors (FII), Steve Jobs of Apple (AAPL), Jeffrey Bezos of Amazon (AMZN), Ian Cook of Colgate-Polmolive (CL), Douglas Baker Jr. of Ecolab (ECL), Daniel Hamburger of DeVry (DV), Willard Oberton of Fastenal (FAST) and John Wiehoff of C.H. Robinson Worldwide (CHRW).

Chief Executive also lists the top wealth-destroying CEOs. Among those with this dubious honor are Gregg Engles of Dean Foods (DF), Thomas Ryan of CVS Caremark (CVS), Irene Rosenfeld of Kraft Foods (KFT), Paul Evanson of Allegheny Energy (AYE) and Myron Ullman, III of J.C. Penney (JCP).

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glad i just sold my cvs

December 29 2010 at 11:43 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Obama hasnt a clue as to what makes prosperity. And there is good evidence that he doesnt care. Nothing is going to turn our economy around until we solve the energy problem and that doesnt mean solar and wind power. This alternate energy propaganda is a farce to misguide the American public. We have enough coal, oil, natural gas and nuclear material to leave the rest of the world in the dust. But our politicians wont allow it. They need another shake-up like last Novembers election.

December 27 2010 at 11:07 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

They are getting richer and richer good for them. I am a total newbie at The Forex Market and it seems great of where to begin. Is there such a thing as someone teaching you or mentoring you to do this for a proportion of the earnings? Similar to a franchise is what I am thinking, is this not a doable thing?. I saw some education stuff at , but the link seems not working anymore.

December 27 2010 at 5:15 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

barry campaigned on Afghanistan being the good war...The war of necessity..............There is a vast difference between a 'right war' in terms of the past (campaign rhetoric) and a war of necessity.........Ex-president cheney can explain all of that to you! LOL!

December 26 2010 at 11:40 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

taking from the 'middle class' and giving to the lazy......Wow! I would guess that this person doesn't have a clue....******* They must be related to you, HUH ?..........Yeah! We as the species 'homo-sapien' are in fact all related!.......just what one does with their intellect???...You know!: (a) : the power of knowing as distinguished from the power to feel and to will : the capacity for knowledge (b) : the capacity for rational or intelligent thought especially when highly developed!

December 26 2010 at 11:36 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

When Obama meets with the top CEO's, will he have another ME, ME, ME Day or will hwe actully be trying to learn something ?

December 26 2010 at 10:19 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to bcodebroker's comment

Oh! please tell us! We are dying to know!

December 26 2010 at 11:02 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I hopw these fools are proud. They have collectively caused more destruction to the American Publid by the unjust war for the control of oil and most importantlhy keeping it out of Chinese hands (Iraq and Afganistan), the subsequent Great Bush Depression and now followed by the Great Deceotion. Wall Street, the GOP, Coroporate CEOs and their Boards and pocket puppit politicians have destroyed Capitialism, the middle class and the American Dream. When I was in High School Government Glass we were told a quote by Stalin where he state "American will be taken without a shot". You fools, the rich and the finaciers have done it. We are nothing without the middle class. You stole our dream. Now we are week and you greedy rich fools have destoye the greatest economy in the world.

December 26 2010 at 9:02 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to Dano's comment

Taking from the middle class and giving to the lazy didn't help a whole lot either.

December 26 2010 at 10:03 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

taking from the 'middle class' and giving to the lazy......Wow! I would guess that this person doesn't have a clue.........taxes on the 'middle class' were the lowest in years............but, they then say....47% pay no taxes and whine and cry like babies!........can you say two-faced??? Can you say hypocrite??

December 26 2010 at 11:06 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

So does this mean that 20 years from now, we will find out it was a Ponzi?

December 26 2010 at 7:24 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
G. Casey

To tjdwill2dot2,
You know i used to think like that too, except unions if everyone tends to forget, brought us from 7-day, 14 hours work weeks to what we have today. You cite some very interesting facts about state pensions, maybe u should did deeper, u will find, that most state pensions are not in the hole or red as u state. They exist that way only on paper. In my state, an investigation several years back into funding of the police retirement fund brought about because the state was claiming that it was broke revealed some very interesting facts that no one in the legislature wanted to admit to even when confronted with their own figures. 1. State law mandated that a 1/2% of tax placed on insurance transactions in the state was to be devoted to police,fire, retirements, along with contributions from active police and fire. During the investigation, surprise the figures came out that the state was collecting approx. 23 million dollars, and that only 11 million a year was being contributed to the retirement system not including the funds of the active members. This figure had been consistent for at least 10-years before the inv. and I am sure continuing to be consistently more than is being put into the retirement system. So when the figures were presented to the same politicians that were screaming it was broke, they went very quite, and suddenly there was noting else heard about the system for 10-years and now they are back, hoping that no one is around that remembers this diversion (theft). The same shell game is happening with social sec. and will happen until it is turned over to Wall Street, and then watch it disappear. Maybe u should dig a little deeper before you start spewing the republican can response to unions or public workers. Also watch there will be a downward spiral on wages in this country, and and even further widening of the wealth gap, until we return to longer hours, no retirements, no healthcare, and working until we die, for middleclass-poor, which will be one class. On wait isn't that the republican mantra, destroy all government, and those that might protect or investigate on behalf of regular citizens, and then we will return to the good old days, where your complaints will be investigated by the corporation, which we knows will only look out for your better interests. How soon we forget working hours, living in company house having that deducted, paying ridiculous prices at the company store, and having nothing left at the end of the month, to leave or quit if you even had some where else to go. Unions have created their own problems, but came about because of the problems that were occurring, read about the mining corps, and other who imported labor, or slaves, who died to change some of the same things that you tjdwill2dot2 are wanting to bring back. Clearly I would like to know exactly what you profession is? Unnecessary overhead is the head of Goldmans Sachs getting 45 million bonus for bankrupting a business, and then demanding a bailout from the tax payer. Bonus no, indictment, prison you bet....

December 26 2010 at 4:33 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to G. Casey's comment

Interesting note, Total funding of the nation's 100 largest corporate pension plans fell by $303bn in 2008, going from a $86bn surplus at the end of 2007 to a $217bn deficit at the end of 2008............Yet! Corporate america is now sitting on a $2 TRILLION stash of money....for mergers??? Not to fulfull their shallow promises??

December 26 2010 at 7:52 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Nothing! Why do you ask?

December 26 2010 at 8:04 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

It is nice to learn that these folks have done well for themselves. Question: How many jobe have they created here in American for American Citizens? Are they willing to answer that question? Thank You!!

December 26 2010 at 4:14 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply