Many successful company CEOs are early risers: For them, the day begins long before sunrise. 16 prominent examples – and what “early risers” do so early in the morning.
Apparently, the early bird does catch the worm: research suggests that early risers have the best prerequisites for professional success. For example, biologist Christoph Randler was able to show that morning people, also called larks, anticipate problems and try to minimize them. They agree with statements such as “I spend time setting long-term goals for myself” and “I feel responsible for making a difference.” – just like these 16 successful CEOs who have one thing in common: They start work before 7 in the morning.
By the way, if you want to start the day awake, in a good mood and relaxed, here are tips for the perfect morning routine.
3:30 am: Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne Serves All Markets
The earliest bird among CEOs is probably Sergio Marchionne: The alarm clock of Fiat-Chrysler’s CEO rings at 3:30 am. Yes, you read that right: At 3:30 am, when other people have just entered the deep sleep phase, Marchionne’s day begins. The Italian-Canadian manager doesn’t seem to attach much importance to free time: He does not have any holidays. When his neighbors in the U.S. celebrate Independence Day on July 4 or eat turkey with the whole family on Thanksgiving, Marchionne escapes to Europe to continue working.
3:45 am: Apple CEO Tim Cook’s Day Begins
In the middle of the night – at 3:45 a.m. to be precise – Apple CEO Tim Cook’s day begins. Just like his predecessor Steve Jobs, the 56-year-old is an absolute workaholic. Before 7 a.m., Cook has already checked his e-mails, worked out in the gym and had a coffee from Starbucks. But for him, this is anything but stressful: “If you love what you do, you don’t see it as work,” told the American CEO to “Time Magazine.”
4 am: Ex-Metro Boss Hans Joachim Körber Goes Jogging
German entrepreneurs are not inferior to Americans when it comes to getting up early. Like most of his CEO colleagues, ex-Metro boss Hans Joachim Körber uses the time in the morning for exercising. The 71-year-old’s day begins before 4 a.m.. Körber prefers to go jogging or do Pilates.
4:15 am: Virgin CEO David Cush Writes E-Mails
The CEO of Virgin America lives by the motto “work first, pleasure later.” David Crush gets up at 4:15 am – not to watch the sunrise. As soon as the American CEO is awake, he checks out his e-mails and calls business partners on the East Coast. Only then he turns on the radio, read the newspaper, have breakfast and go to the gym – and then head out to work.
4:30 am: PIMCO Founder Bill Gross First Checks The Stocks
Bill Gross is also an early riser – as early as 4:30 am. The founder of the investment company PIMCO sits in front of his laptop and checks how the stock market has changed over the night. Only then – at around 6 am – the 73-year-old CEO set off for work.
4:30 am: Claus Hipp Goes To Chapel
The German CEO also seems to consider 4:30 am the perfect time to get up. But unlike many other top executives, baby food entrepreneur Claus Hipp uses the morning hours not for exercise but for inner peace. Even before he sets off for the company, the 78-year-old visits a nearby chapel. Even on Sundays, he is an early riser; he goes to the Frauenkirche in Munich and assists as an altar server at the early Mass. Only on Saturdays Hipp sleep until 7 am.
5 am: AOL CEO Tim Armstrong Distracts Himself With Early Morning Exercise
Distracting yourself so you don’t have to respond to e-mails right after getting up? That may sound strange, but that’s exactly what Tim Armstrong, head of AOL, does. The 46-year-old CEO is claimed not to be a good sleeper, which is why he gets out of bed at 5 am without any problems. But he thinks that it stress-free day should not start with processing business emails, that’s why the American CEO first distracts himself with early-morning sports or tests newly developed products. “Life is too exciting to sleep,” he explains why he gets up so early.
5:30 am: Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey Meditates
At 5:30 a.m., probably few people like to get up. For Jack Dorsey, it’s just the right time. The right time to meditate and to go jogging for about nine kilometers. Because that’s what the CEO of Twitter does before sunrise, as the 40-year-old revealed in an interview with “New York Magazine.
5:30 am: Vodafone CEO Vittorio Colao Gets Ready For Marathon Day
Vittorio Colao’s alarm clock also rings at 5:30 in the morning. Six hours of sleep are enough for the Vodafone CEO to work through from 7 am to 10:45 pm every day – the only break is dinner with his family. The Italian businessman’s day is completely timed and planned, whether it’s hobbies, sports or meetings.
5:30 am: Ex-General Electric CEO Jeff Immelt Reads The Newspaper
5:30 am is a good time to wake up – apparently ex-General Electric boss Jeff Immelt thinks so, too. He starts the day with sport and does endurance training first. At the same time, the 61-year-old reads the newspaper and follows the news on CNBC to keep up to date. This is what the American business manager told “Fortune Magazine” in an interview.
5:30 am: Railway Boss Rüdiger Grube Wakes Up After Four Hours Of Sleep
Only four hours of sleep a night is enough for Rüdiger Grube. Afterwards, The Deutsche Bahn CEO says he is still fit and powerful enough to lead the major corporation. When his alarm clock rings at 5:30 am, he gets up straight away and goes for a jog.
5:30 am: Fashion Consultant Tim Gunn Works Out
Half past five seems to be the magic number to start the day in a good shape. US fashion consultant Tim Gunn also gets up aroun this time. Well, at least he changes the position in his bed, because before he leaves it, the 64-year-old does 50 sit-ups. Only then he really gets up, treat himself to one or two espressos to wake up and check the news in the newspaper.
5:45 am: Virgin Founder Richard Branson Goes Kite Surfing
Jogging or endurance trainings are not for Richard Branson, but he still gets up in the morning to do sports. Because the Virgin founder loves kitesurfing and even sets his alarm clock for 5:45 am to have enough time for his hobby. After sports, the 67-year-old Brit CEO usually treats himself to a hearty breakfast before going to work.
Before 6 am: Investor Kevin O’Leary Checks The Bond Market
To keep up to date, Kevin O’Leary has been going through the bond market before 6 am. It is very important for the investor and chairman of O’Leary Financial to always be one step ahead – for this he tolerates the early ringing of the alarm clock. As he told “Business Insider” in an interview, it’s impossible for him to oversleep when something happens on the stock market in London or Tokyo. Moreover, the 63-year-old investor is also active in sports before he starts the day at his desk. After his father died at the age of just 37, O’Leary decided to live a healthier life, which is why he exercises every day. When the stock market opens at 9:30, “the fun really starts,” he says.
Before 6 am: Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz Spends Time With His Wife
For Howard Schultz, work is no excuse to skip exercise. Even before the Starbucks boss arrives at the office at six o’clock, freshly showered and in top shape, he gets on his bike with his wife and rides a few laps. Because time with his family is very important to the 64-year-old CEO.
6:00 am: General Motors CEO Mary Barra Enters The Office
The head of the American automotive giant General Motors also prefers to get up early. Mary Barra revealed to the “New York Times” that she can be found in the office as early as 6 o’clock. The 55-year-old CEO didn’t even have to change her old routine to do this, as work colleagues report that Barra was already in the building even before she started working as CEO.
7:00 am: Pepsi Boss Indra Nooyi Wakes Up Without An Alarm Clock
Who doesn’t want that: to wake up in the morning all by themselves and without the annoying ringing of the alarm clock, and to start the working day in a good mood? That’s exactly what happens to Indra Nooyi, Chairman of PepsiCo, as she told Fortune Magazine. The 61-year-old CEO therefore sits at her desk at 7 am at the latest and starts her daily tasks. But by midday, she notices the downside of waking up early: she gets tired.