Despite fierce competition from budget airlines, potential strikes and staff shortages that led to the cancellation of nearly 100 flights last August, Citigate Dewe Rogerson's second CEO Brand Value Report identified the BA chief as having the most media visibility and positive image in the UK's press.
Presswatch Media measured coverage of FTSE 100 CEOs in the national press during the 12 months to 30 November 2004 for the survey.
Eddington's reputation for 'telling it like it is', plus success restoring BA to profitability and lobbying for extra capacity at London's Heathrow Airport, had garnered 120 favourable, 166 neutral and 12 unfavourable articles.
Sainsbury's CEO Justin King's 'unusual frankness' and 'back-to-basics strategy' had been key factors in propelling him to second position, with 84 favourable, 222 neutral and 27 unfavourable pieces.
Vodafone CEO Arun Sarin took third place with 53 favourable, three unfavourable and 198 neutral articles, having been 'firmly in the public eye' after outlining his strategy for the 3G mobile phone launch and future growth.
Royal Bank of Scotland CEO Sir Fred Goodwin, who took first position in last year's survey, took ninth position and was one of only three CEOs to stay in the top ten.
WPP chief Sir Martin Sorrell remained in fifth place, while former Abbey CEO Luqman Arnold took eighth.
The most unpopular CEO was Prudential's Jonathan Bloomer.