The relatively low profiles of European chief executives in the US
are adversely affecting the level of American investment in their firms,
according to a survey conducted by Burson-Marsteller.
The agency’s second CEO Reputation study quizzed opinion formers in the
US. The results found that the respondents were unable to appraise the
strengths and weaknesses of the chief executives of more than half of
Europe’s largest companies.
A little less than half - 41 per cent - of opinion formers admitted they
had ’never heard’ of the top ten European companies’ CEOs, compared with
the 14 per cent who had never heard of the CEOs at the top ten largest
The survey points out that investments in listed European companies were
particularly vulnerable, as most Wall Street analysts - 94 per cent -
claimed to recommend stock in accordance with a CEO’s reputation.
Most industry and financial analysts interviewed - 95 per cent - saw a
CEO’s reputation as an important factor in making investment decisions,
up 11 per cent from the previous survey two years ago.
It also revealed that opinion formers viewed the reputation of the CEO
as representing up to 45 per cent of a company’s reputation.
The poll also saw a marked difference in the last year between the
financial performance of companies with the most admired CEOs and
companies with the least admired leaders.
’European CEOs are so far behind US CEOs. The sooner they catch up the
better,’ commented Adrian Wheeler, chairman of the PRCA.
The study was carried out among 1,400 US respondents including CEOs,
senior executives, financial analysts, government officials and