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Apple's Tim Cook drops to 96th place on list of CEOs most popular with workers

Apple CEO Tim Cook has tumbled from 53rd to just 96th on Glassdoor's annual list of the 100 most popular CEOs as rated by their employees.

The drop is the steepest among any technology executive on the list. Anonymous reviews by Apple workers cited high stress, a strict chain of command, and the company's notorious culture of secrecy as problems, a Glassdoor spokesperson told Business Insider.

Apple engineers and designers are often under intense pressure to work overtime as the company races towards hardware launches and software updates. Frequently they're forced to participate in Sunday conference calls, when other people would be unwinding before the weekday.

The company's emphasis on secrecy — meant to shield designs from competitors and surprise the public — is so extensive that staff will sometimes work under literal shrouds, and may not even be fully aware of the product they're developing until it's announced, a famous example being the original iPad.

Despite this year's dip, Cook nevertheless received approval in 91 percent of submitted reviews, a reflection of what it takes to get on Glassdoor's top CEOs list.

The highest Cook has ever placed is 8th in 2016, with 96 percent approval.

Financially Apple has flourished under the CEO, regularly setting new revenue records even with occasional setbacks. He has sometimes been criticized, however, for depending too heavily on the iPhone and not being innovative enough. He has also been politically divisive — conservatives may complain about his stance on issues like immigration, racial diversity, and LGBT rights, while liberals have been upset about his willingness to exploit tax cuts and loopholes. Both aisles have sometimes accused Cook of looking the other way when it comes to rights abuses in China and other authoritarian markets it sells in.