Chief executive reputation accounts for 40 per cent of a company’s
reputation according to a study carried out by Burson-Marsteller.
Respondents were asked to rank the importance of CEO reputation
alongside other components of corporate reputation, such as financial
performance and quality of product. The research showed that a CEO’s
primary role is to communicate a clear vision of the company’s direction
and increase shareholder value.
B-M examined 360 Fortune 500 companies and their CEOs across 35
industries, interviewing over 2,500 individuals, including CEOs, senior
business executives, financial analysts, and government officials.
Other valued qualities in a CEO included the ability to respond
effectively to change, attract and keep a quality management team,
maintain high ethical standards and treat employees and shareholders
with respect. The research showed that philanthropic contributions are
the least important criteria by which CEOs are judged.
B-M UK chairman Nigel Whittaker said the study provided clear evidence
for the increasing importance of CEO as chief communicator.
Leslie Gaines-Ross, B-M’s chief knowledge officer said that while
visibility does not guarantee positive results, a well managed CEO
reputation can play a significant role in the fortunes of a company.
The survey found that 75 per cent of respondents believe the CEO’s
reputation will enhance the company’s ability to attract investment
capital and earn the company the benefit of the doubt in times of