CEOs of the world’s most significant companies are being judged by the general public on the basis of ethics — doing what’s right — and much less on share price value, according to results from Reputation Institute’s 2019 CEO RepTrak® study.
“It’s a brave new world for CEOs,” said Kylie Wright-Ford, CEO at Reputation Institute, a technology-enabled data-driven insights company and provider of reputation measurement and management services. “Acting responsibly, behaving ethically and caring about social issues are the most important drivers of CEO reputation for the second consecutive year. To understand the significance of this, look no further than this year’s reputation decline for the CEOs at Google, and Facebook in particular.”
Following a turbulent 2018 that raised questions about Google’s good intentions and data privacy, company CEO Sundar Pichai — last year’s #1 CEO — dropped out of the elite group of the ranked CEOs. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s reputation hit a new low due to his repeated, and perceived inability to deliver on ethically responsible behavior. Even Amazon’s CEO Jeff Bezos fell in the reputation rankings, due in part to the perception that Bezos doesn’t especially care about employees or social issues.
“In the court of public opinion, CEOs are readily punished for moral indiscretions and falling short on less than wholly ethical, honest, and transparent behavior. By contrast, the top 10 CEOs understand that behaving responsibly is critical to how they lead and conduct business,” Wright-Ford said.
The CEO RepTrak 10
CEO RepTrak 2019 measured the reputation of more than 140 global CEOs and canvassed more than 230,000 individual ratings from among the informed public (only surveying those people who are somewhat or very familiar with the company and the CEO). The study was conducted in January and February.
The top 10 global CEOs recognized in Reputation Institute’s 2019 CEO RepTrak study (in alphabetical order) are:
● Ben van Beurden, Shell (OTCMKTS: RYDAF)
● Niels B. Christiansen, LEGO Group
● Michael Dell, Dell
● Emmanuel Faber, Danone S.A. (OTCMKTS: DANOY)
● Fabrizio Freda, The Estée Lauder Companies (NYSE: EL)
● Shuntaro Furukawa, Nintendo Co., Ltd. (OTCMKTS: NTDOY)
● Ralph Hamers, ING Group (NYSE: ING)
● David Holl, Mary Kay, Inc.
● Christopher J. Nassetta, Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc. (NYSE: HLT)
● Carsten Spohr, Deutsche Lufthansa AG (OTCMARKETS: DLAKF)
Only The Estée Lauder Companies, ING Group and Nintendo have their CEOs among the top 10 for two consecutive years. Of the four women CEOs who qualified for the study, only one — Emma Walmsley of GlaxoSmithKline plc, made it into the top 20. 50% of the CEOs in the top 10 lead European companies, 40% lead US companies and 10% Japanese companies.
“At The Estée Lauder Companies, we believe that our reputation and business goals are one in the same. As we continue to emphasize transparency, responsiveness, clarity and ethics, our company’s values and subsequent reputation will serve to further drive our business,” said Fabrizio Freda, president and CEO, The Estée Lauder Companies.
Companies interested in learning more about 2019 CEO Trak and accessing 2019 reputation scores should visit https://www.reputationinstitute.com/CEO-reptrak and https://reputationinstitute.com/contact.