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Top CEOs who were early birds and caught the world

They say the early bird catches the worm, and research suggests there might be some truth to the old adage.
Waking up with the sun allows people to get a head start on the day, completing the tasks before the rest of the world has left the bed. The extra hours we get by waking up early give a chance to do something creative, work in the gym or spend time with the family.
Here is the list of 9 early birds who caught the worm.

1. Apple CEO Tim Cook

Apple CEO Tim Cook wakes up 3:45 a.m. and gets a head start on email. According to a Time profile, "He wakes up at 3:45 every morning ('Yes, every morning'), does email for an hour, stealing a march on those lazy East Coasters three time zones ahead of him, then goes to the gym, then Starbucks (for more e-mail), then work. 'The thing about it is, when you love what you do, you don't really think of it as work. It's what you do. And that's the good fortune of where I find myself.'”

2. Unilever CEO Paul Polman

In order to stay competitive mentally and physically, the Dutch-born Polman gets up at 6 a.m. so he can run on the treadmill in his office. This also gives him time to "reflect on the work day ahead," which is probably pretty hectic at a multinational food and detergent company.

3. PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi

Nooyi wakes up as early as 4:00 A.M., telling Fortune that "They say sleep is a gift that God gives you ....that's one gift I was never given.” In a speaker’s series at Pepsi, she revealed that she's at work every day by no later than 7.

4. AOL CEO Tim Armstrong

AOL CEO Tim Armstrong starts his day at 5:00 a.m. but tries not to send too many early-morning e-mails. The former Google executive tells The Guardian that he's "not a big sleeper" and wakes up at 5 a.m. or 5:15 a.m. every day to work out, read, tinker with the site, and hang out with his middle daughter, who is also an early riser. Armstrong says he tries to hold off on sending emails until around 7:00 a.m.

5. Xerox CEO Ursula Burns

Xerox CEO Ursula Burns rises at 5:15 a.m. to email and work out. Burns uses early morning hours to get caught up on emails, getting up at 5:15 a.m. and sometimes working until midnight, according to Yahoo Finance. She also uses the time to fit in a workout, according to Laura Vanderkam's "What The Most Successful People Do before Breakfast." Burns schedules an hour of personal training at 6 a.m. twice a week.

6. Twitter and Square CEO Jack Dorsey

Twitter and Square CEO Jack Dorsey wakes up before dawn for a 6-mile run. According to New York Magazine, the Twitter cofounder wakes up at 5:30 a.m. to meditate and go for a six-mile jog.

7. Virgin Group founder and Chairman Richard Branson

Virgin Group founder and Chairman Richard Branson rise with the sun at around 5:45 a.m. In an interview with Business Insider's Ally Weisman, Branson reveals that he wakes up at about 5:45 in the morning, even when staying at his private island, leaving the curtains drawn so the sun gets him up. He does his best to use those early hours to exercise before an early breakfast and getting to work.

8. General Motors CEO Mary Barra

Like her predecessor, Daniel Akerson, GM's current chief executive is an early riser. According to a New York Times profile, she was regularly at the office by 6 a.m. before she even became CEO.

9. Vodafone CEO Vittorio Colao

Vodafone CEO Vittorio Colao rises by 6 a.m. According to The Guardian, he exercises then works to about 10:45 p.m., with a small gap for dinner with his family. He heads to bed by 11:30 p.m.

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