The Secret Behind Highest-paid CEO Speeches

Analyzing the CEO language of Tim Cook, Elon Musk, and Tom Rutledge with Data Science

5 min readApr 25, 2021


Unlocking value from text data

Natural Language Processing (NLP) is a sub-field of Data Science to process and analyze unstructured text data.

In 2019, Barclays was already using machine learning tools to analyze company managements’ commentary in earnings calls. As the technology continues to gain momentum, we can expect to see more companies benefiting from NLP in the future.

Do the highest-paid CEOs speak the same way in Earnings Calls?

In this article, we will try to identify and analyze word patterns of the three highest-paid CEOs (Tim Cook, Elon Musk, Tom Rutledge) through their commentary in their respective earnings calls.

Dataset disclaimer

The dataset used in this article consists of Earnings Calls in Quarter 4, FY2020 of Apple, Charter Communications, and Tesla. Filtering was done on the dataset so that only commentary by the CEOs are used in the analysis.

Image by author: Snapshot of the dataset used

Product vs. overall growth-focused conversations

First, let’s look at the most commonly used words by the CEOs.

Based on the bar chart below, Apple and Tesla’s CEOs had more similar word patterns. Cook and Musk focused on sharing the more important/latest features of the company’s product. On the other hand, Charter Communications CEO Rutledge mentioned no specific product or service and focused on the growth side of the company.

Image by author: Highest paid CEOs most used words

These findings could suggest that Apple and Tesla have a bestseller plan to bring in more revenue. We could also explain that Charter Communication seeks to retain its current business plan rather than bring in any game-changing…




is passionate about transforming texts into data points #NaturalLanguageProcessing