Henry VII, CEO
It turns out that Henry VII - father of the famous "wed 'em, bed 'em, behead 'em" Henry VIII - was quite the astute king. He bridged the gap from the middle ages to the Renaissance in England, which was possibly the furthest country from its reach.
But what struck me as I read about Henry in Vol II of A History of the English-Speaking Peoples was how he really approached his kingdom as a business enterprise.
Where previous kings had based their claim to the throne on heredity - with civil war as the result - Henry was more practical. He made decisions that seemed to genuinely be in the nation's best interests; Henry realised the power of the electorate, that even Kings are ultimately elected.
He was also very shrewd - cunning, even - in appointing his 'management team'. He eschewed the traditional 'nobles' - clever politicians with long-standing interests - and hired unknowns, people who would not only bring a fresh perspective to the organisation, but would also owe him alone for their position.
I'll let Churchill take the narrative: "Henry was at first not strong enough to afford mistakes. Daily, in all his leisure, he made notes on political affairs, on matters which required attention, 'especially touching persons', whom to employ, to reward, to imprison, to outlaw, exile or execute.
"... His skill and wisdom in transmuting medieval institutions into the organs of modern rule has not been questioned. His achievement was indeed massive and durable. He built his power amid the ruins and ashes of his predecessors. He thriftily and carefully gathered what seemed in those days a vast reserve of liquid wealth. He trained a body of efficient servants. He magnified the Crown without losing the co-operation of the Commons."
I dare any modern-day CEO to try that. :)