[Outlook 2022] Expert predictions for marketers and insights professionals

Our reports provide your organization with industry intelligence
and actionable insights to support data-driven decisions and strategies.

Read the Reports
Online Trends

Published November 17th 2016

From Arianna Huffington to Tim Cook: The Most Influential CEOs on Twitter

The Brandwatch React team uses new tool Audiences to find the most influential CEOs on Twitter. Who will take first place?

Technically, anyone can be a CEO. But not everyone can be the most influential CEO on Twitter.

With a business to run and to-do lists stretching the length of a football field, it’s hard to believe CEOs have time to tweet.

The Brandwatch React team decided to use Brandwatch’s new tool Audiences to identify which CEOs are making the biggest splashes on Twitter.

CEOs of all kinds

It’s important to remember before you dive into this list that CEOs come in all different shapes and sizes.

Some dedicate almost all their time to their company.

Others have businesses alongside successful careers as international sports stars or world-renowned rock bands.

Our list includes them all.


Audiences determines an influence score by looking at a number of factors from follower – following ratio, ability to generate engagement and the number of influential people they interact with. It also applies a time decay to engagement, making more recent interactions count more.

The Brandwatch React team searched for authors with “CEO” in their bio and generated a list of the most influential CEOs on Twitter.

The 10 most influential CEOs on Twitter

So, without further ado, here they are:


An odd mix

You might have noticed, if you haven’t sent us an angry tweet already, that’s there’s a bit of a divide between the top five and some of the members of the rest of the top 10.

The top five contains retired basketball player Kobe Bryant, huge media personality Bill Simmons, Apple CEO Tim Cook, Paramore singer Hayley Williams, and Huffington Post founder Arianna Huffington.

The rest of the top ten aren’t exactly household names…

A closer look

Let’s take you through the top ten one by one. Somewhat depressingly, there are more Tims than there are women.

10. Tim Fargo (@alpahetsuccess)

Tim has 412k followers and, according to his Wikipedia page, he’s “an American author, keynote speaker, angel investor and entrepreneur”. He’s also CEO of Social Jukebox.

He loves a good quote.

9. Tim O’Reilly (@timoreilly)

O’Reilly Media CEO Tim O’Reilly has 1.98 million followers but follows just 1,646 accounts (the Brandwatch React team is privileged to be one of them).

He speaks his mind and a lot about tech.

8. John Legere (@JohnLegere)

T-Mobile CEO John Legere has 3.25 million followers and possibly one of the best Twitter bios ever: “Magenta-wearing, customer-loving @TMobile USA CEO focused on ending wireless pain points & scaring our competitors! Also, #IamBatman”. His tweets feature emojis, GIFs, and a lot of love for T-Mobile.

7. Producer 9-0 (@nine_oh)

Perhaps the wildcard of the group, Producer 9-0 describes himself as “CEO No Limit East. Award winning music producer, author & more.”

With just over 1 million followers and tweeting prolifically, @nine_oh is at number 7 on our list. He tweets about music and the latest news.

6. Gary Vaynerchuk (@garyvee)

Vaynerchuk is CEO of Vaynermedia and boasts a solid 1.35 million followers.

He also tweets uplifting messages that his followers really respond to.

5. Arianna Huffington (@ariannahuff)

Arianna Huffington is founder of the Huffington Post and, more recently, CEO of Thrive Global.

She has 2.56 million followers and shares links from all around the web (although many of them are from Huff Post).

4. Tim Cook (@tim_cook)

Anyone could have predicted Tim Cook would make the list, and with 3.89 million followers he certainly deserves it.

He loves to tweet about Apple products, staff and customers.

3. Hayley Williams (@yelyahwilliams)

Hayley Williams of Paramore fame is a surprise but welcome addition to the list. She actually has more followers than the band itself.

Anyway, Williams is Founder and CEO of goodDYEyoung, purveyor of funky hair colors.

2. Bill Simmons (@BillSimmons)

With 5.28 million followers, Simmons is a big hitter in Twitter land. He’s also CEO of The Ringer.

1. Kobe Bryant (@kobebryant)

Perhaps more famous for his basketball career, Bryant is also a successful businessman.

Sadly our own CEO, Giles Palmer, didn’t make the top ten this year. Perhaps he ought to take up basketball.

Are you a journalist looking to cover our data? We have plenty more. Email us [email protected] for more information

Share this post
Brandwatch Bulletin

Offering up analysis and data on everything from the events of the day to the latest consumer trends. Subscribe to keep your finger on the world’s pulse.

Get the data

Crimson Hexagon has merged with Brandwatch. You’re in the right place!

From May 8th, all Crimson Hexagon products are now on the Brandwatch website. You’ll find them under ‘Products’ in the navigation. If you’re an existing customer and you want to know more, your account manager will be happy to help.