In today’s corporate world, the reputation of an organization, as well as its global and industry influence, is intricately linked to the reputation of the CEO. The CEOs are the hinges on which good corporate reputations hang.
Their reputation are now more closely tangled with that of the corporation they lead than ever before. They are expected to exemplify and uphold the company’s purpose, drive its culture, promote its values, and present positive and transparent profiles.
The way the stakeholders such as the media, investors, employees, and even the public perceive the CEO has tremendous influence on the company’s prosperity, standing, and future.
According to a survey conducted by Weber Shandwick with KRC Research, respondents stated that a CEO’s reputation was the largest factor in determining a company’s overall reputation. The survey which sampled opinions of executives worldwide, revealed that a CEO’s reputation accounted for 45% of a company’s market value, and of these executives, 50% of them expected that the CEO’s reputation would have a greater impact on the company in future.
The reputation of CEOs can shape the company’s image by earning or destroying the trust of their various stakeholder groups. A positive reputation of the CEO carries many benefits which includes, crisis protection, positive media attention, increased market value, and attraction and retention of top talents.
On the other hand, one misstep by a CEO can cause a chain reaction leading to customers and investors losing trust in the business itself, reputational risk damage of brand image, loss of revenue and public blowback. The reason is not far-fetched. Whilst the public may be aware of a company’s wrongdoing, their opinions of the situation are often swayed by what CEO’s and other executives say and do.
Creating a strong and credible CEO reputation should not been seen as a luxury, or an exercise in ego. Rather, it should be regarded as a requirement to a good corporate reputation. As such, every organization needs to prioritize CEO and C-level reputation as a corporate strategy and goal for building and sustaining a positive corporate reputation.
This alludes to the fact that today’s CEO has been consolidated in the role of the company’s chief brand ambassador.
– by Owoyemi Ajayi