According to an edition of Chinese Fortune magazine published in April 2006, Ning Gaoning, chairman of COFCO, ranked 20th in the list of "25 Influential Chinese Business Leaders".
In accordance with the appraisal standards of American Fortune, the final ranking results from an evaluation of the influence the candidates have in the company, the industry and beyond. Innovation is the most important factor; many of the honorees have achieved great success in technical breakthroughs, in particular in Chinese management systems innovation.
Chinese Fortune describes Ning Gaoning as a master in management diversification. The magazine goes on to say the following: after a successful shift from trade to industry, Ning Gaoning became the new president of COFCO, a Fortune 500 company, in 2004. Within a year, he had identified a strategy for the diversification and specialization of the business and introduced a 6S management system. Under his leadership, the company's finance and human resources policies have also been vastly improved. His experience at CRC has proved his vision and conviction, and now COFCO will open up new vistas for him.
Also on the list are Zhang Ruimin, Wang Shi, Yang Yuanqing, Ren Zhengfei, Huang Guangyu, Ma Yun, Li Dongsheng, Niu Gensheng, Zhou Houjian, Yin Tongyao, Wang Xiaochu, Wang Jianlin, Pan Gang, Li Yanhong, Sun Hongbin, Yin Yimin, Ma Weihua, Zhou Weikun, Xie Qihua, Yan Jiehe, Deng Zhonghan, Li Kunyao, Jiang Nanchun and Shi Zhengrong.