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Nearly half of a company’s reputation is attributable to that of their CEO

Strong CEO reputation also attracts and retains employees

  • Key4Communications

Research released from global public relations firm Weber Shandwick and KRC Research identifies that chief executive officer engagement and visibility is recognized as particularly critical to company reputation, according to 81 percent of senior executives worldwide. Global executives in the survey attribute nearly half (45 percent) of their company’s reputation to the reputation of their CEO. This inextricable link between CEO and corporate reputation is only expected to  strengthen, as 50 percent of executives expect that CEO reputation will matter even more to company reputation in the next few years.

Conducted by Weber Shandwick with KRC Research, 'The CEO Reputation Premium: Gaining Advantage in the Engagement Era', is based on an online survey of more than 1,700 senior executives across 19 countries in North America, Europe, Asia Pacific and Latin America.

CEO reputation matters to the bottom line, too. Senior executives estimate that 44 percent of their company’s market value is attributable to the reputation of their CEO. Strong CEO reputation also attracts and retains employees (77 percent and 70 percent, respectively).

Despite the growth in importance of CEO reputation, building it is not about enhancing egos or celebrity. In fact, a Weber Shandwick media search found that 2014 was a record year for coverage related to CEO humility.

There is a close tie between reputation and external relations. Admired CEOs are four times more likely to be seen as being good at engaging the public than those with less admired status (50 percent vs. 13 percent, respectively). The question is: Which of the many available platforms are mission critical for CEOs when their time is so limited and they are understandably risk-averse? The majority of global executives (82 percent) consider speaking engagements job number one for engaging with external stakeholders.

Regional Differences
The research revealed several differences around the globe, some of which are:

-Compared to European, Asia Pacific and Latin American executives, North American executives perceive their leaders to be better communicators, both internally and externally. 

-North American executives are significantly more likely than those in other regions to say that their CEOs are comfortable talking to the news media. However, these regions may soon catch up: Four in 10 European executives (41 percent) and approximately half of Asia Pacific executives (49 percent) and Latin American executives (49 percent) report that their CEOs are more willing to talk with the news media today than they were several years ago. 

-Canadian executives are the most likely to say their company has a very strong reputation (63 percent). 

-Indonesian and Chinese executives are particularly optimistic that CEO reputation will rise in importance over the next few years (87 percent and 79 percent, respectively).

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