Fidelity Investments: Edward Johnson III (CEO)
Why this was a big quit:
You are doing something right to work at a company for 57 years, even if it was founded by your father. That is the story with Fidelity Investments and Johnson III, who grew the company from less than $4 billion into the $4.6 trillion globo-mega-corp it is today. Fidelity held steady in the face of economic instability, and with only two bad years from 2010-11, it rebounded strongly in 2013, and remains the 2nd largest company where people place their retirement account.
Why this is not as big as our Top 10:
Johnson III is 87, and regardless of how good he was, retirement is what he built a company on. To prepare for it, Johnson tucked a few dollars away, and did the next best thing to cloning himself by spending the past quarter-century grooming his replacement: daughter Abby Johnson. Already serving as president, Abby was given every possible resource and preparation to ensure the continued success of the investment giant. By minimizing the impact of his departure on Fidelity, Johnson eased the transition of his departure.