NEW YORK: Corporate wallflowers beware - almost half of a company’s reputation is based upon the image of its top dog.
NEW YORK: Corporate wallflowers beware - almost half of a company’s
reputation is based upon the image of its top dog.
That was the main finding of Burson-Marsteller’s latest look at the
impact of CEO reputation. The study, entitled ’Maximizing CEO
Reputation,’ surveyed about 1,400 ’business influentials,’ a group
including CEOs, senior executives, financial analysts, government
officials and journalists.
In 1997, Burson found that CEO reputation accounted for 40% of a
company’s reputation. This year, that figure rose to 45%.
Communicating a vision inside the company, credibility and retaining a
quality senior management team are the most important characteristics
affecting CEO reputation, according to the study. Increasing shareholder
wealth, meanwhile, ranked next to last.
’The point is that people want to hear more from a CEO than the numbers
game,’ said chief knowledge officer Leslie Gaines-Ross.
Jim Gregory, CEO of Corporate Branding, agreed that the key is for CEOs
to project a vision for the future. However, he said this means little
unless corporate behavior is aligned with that vision. ’Ultimately,
that’s the CEOs responsibility,’ Gregory said. ’The problem is, they
don’t know that. Are they at fault for that? Yes.’
Burson claimed that coverage of CEOs in newspapers and business
publications increased 23% between 1993 and 1998, and cited Time
magazine naming Amazon.com CEO Jeff Bezos as Man of the Year as an
example of the growing link between the CEO and corporate
Having an admired CEO pays dividends in many ways: 81% of respondents
said they would believe a company if it was under pressure from the
media and 80% said they would recommend a company as a good place to