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The past several years have been challenging for big business and its leaders: CEOs. Research has found that respect for corporate leaders and large multinationals has declined. Between the global financial crisis, spread of worldwide protest movements such as Occupy, backlash against executive compensation, and even employee revolts, CEOs have faced numerous threats to their reputation and those of the companies they run.

Despite this erosion in positive perceptions of CEOs, Weber Shandwick’s research continues to find that CEO reputation is a fundamental driver of corporate reputation, and is unwavering in its contribution to market value. Our newest research – The CEO Reputation Premium: Gaining Advantage in the Engagement Era – finds that global executives estimate that nearly one half of a company’s market value is attributable to its CEO.

In an increasingly connected and transparent world, keeping a low profile is no longer an option for business leaders. CEOs have entered a golden age of opportunity in which to tell their company story and join the conversation. This new era is marked by the recognition that CEO engagement is particularly critical to corporate reputation and is facilitated by high demand for content to help grow the business. Today’s CEOs are expected to be seen and heard and to be on the scene internally, externally and virtually.

We’re excited to share our latest research with you. Click here to view our full report. In subsequent blog posts, we’ll explore the report in more detail, including:

  • The CEO Reputation Advantage: How and why CEO reputation matters, the premium it delivers, and the shifting drivers of corporate reputation. We’ll examine executives’ views on the importance of bench strength, CEO humility, and the rash of CEO apologies in recent years.
  • CEO Engagement Now Required: We’ll take a deep dive into CEO engagement and visibility — the new imperative for CEOs in the Engagement Era. This post will cover the importance of CEO external engagement, preferred avenues for building CEO profiles, and the pluses and minuses of digital engagement. In addition, we’ll look at whether CEOs should be taking public stands on political issues of the day.
  • The CEO’s Guide to Reputation and Engagement: Finally, we’ll provide strategies for business leaders and their companies in order to build executive equity, bolster CEO engagement on a visible scale, and reap the reputational benefits of effectively engaging stakeholders.

 

We look forward to starting a conversation about CEO reputation with you!

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