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The New York Times Magazine's light-hearted graph comparing the success and exposure of various tech CEOs has one small flaw: It doesn't seem to think that a mention in the paper itself counts as exposure.

The graph, part of the weekly magazine's (relatively) new "One Page Magazine" feature, is not meant to be statistically significant. Usually the creation of comedian Eliot Glazer (as this one was), it generally measures middle-brow icons on two unfair or goofy axes. And so yesterday's plotted the CEOs (present and outgoing) of various tech companies on two metrics: level of exposure and amount of success. 

That's Steve Ballmer of Microsoft in the upper left corner — lots of exposure, not much success. Can't argue with that. But in the lower right corner, Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook. Lots of success, yes — but much exposure? Isn't this the guy who, you know, had a movie made about his life? If having the launch of your company be turned into a top-grossing film doesn't count as exposure, it's hard to argue what does.

Unless The Times was going high-brow. Maybe The Times only counts exposure if it happens in the pages of The Times itself. All the news that's fit to print, and all that. So we looked at the number of mentions for each of the five in the newspaper itself since January of 2012. And so, in descending order of mentions:

  • Steve Ballmer of Microsoft: 1,950
  • Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook and the movie The Social Network: 775
  • Marissa Mayer of Yahoo!: 417
  • Larry Page of Google, 230
  • Tim Armstrong of AOL: 48

Second place! Substantially lower than Ballmer, to be sure, but nearly equal to the next three combined. Mayer, you'll notice, is tied with Page on that graph at the highest reaches of exposure. A little logo redesign goes a long way, apparently.

If we rework the chart based on the exposure The Times itself has bestowed upon these leaders, we get this.

We have to assume that as the leaders of technology companies, the five CEOs would appreciate our dedication to precision.

If someone wants to adjust the "success rate" values to place Armstrong in front of Mayer, that's their prerogative.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.

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