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19th Annual Global CEO Survey / January 2016

Growing in complicated times p06 / Addressing greater expectations p12/ Transforming:

technology, innovation and talent p18 / Measuring and communicating success p26/
Navigating complexity to exceed expectations p32

Redefining business
success in a
changing world
CEO Survey

1,409 CEOs interviewed

in 83 countries
66% of CEOs see more
threats today
76% of CEOs define
business success by more
than financial profit

More disorienting still for CEOs is their

Introduction from
growing feeling that our globalised
economic and social fabric is fraying as
divergent political, business, societal

Dennis Nally
and cultural movements take hold.
This is driven by digital technologies
that have enabled people all over the
world to be more connected, better
informed, and as a result, increasingly
How to lead in complicated times? Thats the question all CEOs are empowered and emboldened.
seeking to answer at a time of prolonged and continuing uncertainty.
Its not lost on CEOs that a great many
of these technologically empowered
As they look forward to the year ahead citizens are also their customers or
CEOs are less confident about prospects potential customers. While they are
for the global economy than they were better connected than ever before
in 2015. The same is true overall when they must also navigate a world that
they consider their own companys is being dramatically shaped by
prospects for growth. other megatrends such as increasing
urbanisation, climate change and rapid
Many CEOs do still see opportunities demographic and social shifts. Faced
but they are looking to play things safe. with these changes, CEOs tell us that
The United States and China are far customers will increasingly judge
and away the most important markets companies based on how they help
that CEOs identify as offering the best greater society and how they live up
prospects for growth, with Germany and to their own values. Notably, nearly a
the United Kingdom some way behind. quarter of CEOs said their company has
That said, CEOs also see potential in changed its sense of purpose in the last
Indias bullish business attitude and three years to take into account the
in Brazil despite its current political broader impact it has on society.
and economic struggles. Potential
new opportunities in Mexico and To successfully address the expectations
the UAE have also made CEOs pay of a super-connected and technologically
attention in the last year. smart society, companies are looking to
technology (of course) for answers.
CEOs continue to highlight over- Internet-enabled technologies continue
regulation as their biggest concern. to help companies innovate by creating
But even as issues like an increased more relevant products and user
tax burden and governments response experiences for customers, while digital
to fiscal deficits and debt burdens native talent is now deemed essential
loom large, geopolitical uncertainty for future business growth. Yet for all
(exacerbated by regional conflicts the technological breakthroughs in
and increased terrorism attacks) areas like customer insight and
is a top concern for nearly three- marketing, companies still struggle
quarters of CEOs. to create a business proposition that
both drives growth and creates value
for greater society.

2 19th Annual Global CEO Survey

This could be because, in a digitally
driven world where theoretically every
part of business can be measured, CEOs
havent yet mastered how to measure
the long-term success that comes from
being a trusted company and good
corporate citizen. Over time, technology,
once again, will no doubt help CEOs
effectively measure how better
products and services, combined with a
transparent relationship with customers,
employees and greater society can
future-proof their companies in this
uncertain world. But they have to know
what success looks like in the first place.

Id like to thank the more than 1,400

company leaders from 83 countries
who have taken the time to share their
insights with us. Their active and
candid participation is the single
greatest factor in the success of PwCs
Annual Global CEO Survey, now in its
19th year. We greatly appreciate our
respondents willingness to free up
their valuable time to make this survey
as comprehensive and accurate as
possible. Were especially grateful
to the 33 CEOs who sat down with
us to hold deeper and more detailed
conversations. Youll see their
comments throughout this report.

Dennis M. Nally
Chairman, PricewaterhouseCoopers
International Limited

PwC 3

06 18

Growing in complicated Transforming: technology,

times innovation and talent
09 Moving beyond globalisation 18 Walking the talk

11 Steering a true course in an uncertain world 20 Putting technology to work

21 The innovation edge

22 The people edge

24 Why government and business need to

work together

12 26

Addressing greater Measuring and

expectations communicating success
13 So what do your stakeholders want? 26 A new mindset for measurement

14 Is this the era of the good consumer? 28 Can everything be confidently measured?

14 A central concern the quest for trust 30 Communicating impact

15 What do you stand for?

4 19th Annual Global CEO Survey


Navigating complexity
to exceed expectations
32 Linking strategy to execution

34 Looking for more data?

36 Meet the CEOs we talked to

38 Research methodology and contacts

39 Acknowledgement and thanks

40 Notes and sources

PwC 5
Growing in
complicated times
Todays CEOs face a business environment

Are we in an environment thats becoming increasingly complicated
where change will take to read and adapt to.
place at tremendous
speed, whether its Seven years on from the global financial crisis,
economic leadership, of CEOs are concerned
about geopolitical the business landscape still hasnt really returned
challenges of emerging
uncertainty to what it was. Will it ever? Last year regulation,
countries or developed
skills, national debt, geopolitical uncertainty and
countries, political unrest,
challenges with extremist taxes topped CEOs list of concerns about threats
... low oil prices have
views around the world, ramifications in terms of to business growth. None of these have gone
new technology, or new social dynamics because away this year. In fact, the level of worry is higher
business models? That it will put pressure on today than at any point in the past five years.
is the new normal. the availability of funds
Companies and countries in the Middle East, Concern about over-regulation in particular
that will lead this new especially as far as the is still highest, cited by 79% of CEOs making
normal have to deal with oil-producing countries it the fourth year in a row that its risen (see
an environment where are concerned ... [which] Figure 1).
theres constant change, have very large young
and be able to adjust to populations ... there are
Geopolitical uncertainty, meanwhile, has
those at a faster and going to be enormous
faster pace. become the second biggest concern, cited by 74%
budgetary pressures on
the various countries. of business leaders. This comes at a time when
John Chambers
Executive Chairman of the
terror attacks are increasing and touching every
Dr. Ahmed Heikal
Board, Cisco Systems, Inc., US
Chairman and Founder, Qalaa
part of the world, many linked to the heightened
Holdings, Egypt conflict in Iraq and Syria. Global conflicts are
also connected to anxieties about social
instability and readiness to respond to crises,
named by 65% and 61% of CEOs, respectively.
Cyber security is also a worry for 61% of CEOs,
representing as it does threats to both national
and commercial interests.

6 19th Annual Global CEO Survey

Figure 1 CEOs are getting more concerned about a wide range of risks

Q: How concerned are you about the following potential economic, policy, social and
business threats to your organisations growth prospects?

Top-three threats
Over-regulation Geopolitical uncertainty Exchange rate volatility

79% 74% 73%

Key threats
There are, moreover, other uncertainties CEOs
Over-regulation 79%
must contend with. Where theres reasonable
economic growth its often being aided by Geopolitical uncertainty 74%
extraordinary monetary policies, even though
the United States Federal Reserve bucked this Exchange rate volatility 73%
trend recently by raising US interest rates for
Availability of key skills 72%
the first time in nine years. This move, together
with Chinas surprise devaluation of the yuan in Government response to
fiscal deficit and debt burden
August 2015, helps explain why exchange rate
volatility, cited by 73% of CEOs, is third among Increasing tax burden 69%
their top concerns.
Social instability 65%

Indeed, CEOs are keeping a very close eye on

Cyber threats 61%
China given the continued importance they
place on its economy for their own growth Shift in consumer
spending and behaviours 60%
prospects. Its economic rebalancing, the
fragility of its debt-laden local governments Lack of trust in business 55%
and its faltering manufacturing sector continue Climate change and
to spook investors and rattle a number of environmental damage 50%
industries not least the commodities sector
Top-four risers since 2013
that rode the wave of Chinas rapid growth
Bribery and Lack of trust
and now is bearing the brunt of the slowdown. corruption 55 in business 55
52 53

41 37
2013 2014 2015 2016 2013 2014 2015 2016

Social instability Consumer spending

New in 2015 65 and behaviours
60 60 60


2013 2014 2015 2016 2013 2014 2015 2016

Base: All respondents (2016=1,409; 2015=1,322; 2014=1,344; 2013=1,330; 2012=1,258)

Note: Respondents who answered somewhat or extremely concerned

PwC 7
Growing in complicated times

Figure 2 CEOs are less confident about global economic and business growth prospects in
these uncertain times

Q: How confident are you about your companys prospects for revenue growth over the next 12 months?
Do you believe global economic growth will improve, stay the same or decline over the next 12 months?




2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016

CEOs very confident in business growth prospects CEOs confident global economic growth will improve

Base: All respondents (2016=1,409; 2015=1,322; 2014=1,344; 2013=1,330; 2012=1,258; 2011=1,201; 2010=1,198; 2009=1,124; 2008=1,150;
2007=1,084; 2006 (not asked); 2005=1,324; 2004=1,386)
Note: In previous years, respondents were asked Do you believe the global economy will improve, stay the same or decline over the next 12 months?

These factors are having different effects in

Figure 3 CEOs continue to see investment I definitely expect
opportunities across the BRICs different places, but together theyre increasing
moderate growth in the the level of uncertainty about the global
Q: Which three countries, excluding the one in which you United States. Thats the
are based, do you consider most important for your
economy, and CEOs are less optimistic about
most important and
overall growth prospects over the next 12 months? prospects this year. The optimists those who
resilient market for me to
see growth, and the most think global growth will improve over the next
USA 39% important market for us. 12 months have dropped to 27% from 37%
last year (see Figure 2). Those who think it
Takeshi Niinami
China 34%
President and CEO,
will worsen have increased from 17% to 23%.
Suntory, Japan
Germany 19%
As we might expect, CEOs confidence about
UK 11% ... for us in India, it looks their own companys prospects for revenue
like a situation where we growth in the coming year has also fallen,
India 9% will be one of the top few though not to the same extent as confidence
economies in terms of about the world economy. Thirty-five percent
Brazil 8% growth rates. of CEOs are very confident about short-term
Chitra Ramkrishna business growth compared to 39% last year
Japan 5%
Managing Director and CEO, (see Figure 2).
National Stock Exchange of
Russia 5% India Limited (NSE), India
Its become more difficult to pin down where
Mexico 5% growth will come from, but CEOs are still
UAE 5%
of CEOs are very
banking on familiar faces. The United States
and China, and to a lesser extent Germany and
the UK, remain the countries that most CEOs
cite among their top overseas growth markets
confident about short- (see Figure 3).
term business growth

8 19th Annual Global CEO Survey

CEOs also continue to see investment After two years, Mexico is back in the list of
opportunities across the BRICs, despite the ... the TPP is really the top-ten countries and is also CEOs highest-
complicated picture they present. India, which largest trading agreement ranked non-BRICs emerging market. The UAE
has continued to do well under Prime Minister we have had since the is also in the top ten and is currently the bright
Narendra Modis pro-business government, is WTO. This would bring spot in the Middle East given its relatively lower
now among CEOs five most promising overseas 40% of the global GDP dependence on oil revenues.
together in one economic
markets. Brazil, meanwhile, has slipped only
block. Im very excited.
a notch despite its political and economic Moving beyond globalisation
2015 is going to be
problems. Even Russia has held fast despite fantastic for Vietnam, not This complicated world picture isnt just being
geopolitical tensions and its heavy dependence just because of the TPP shaped by economic and geopolitical trends. We
on oil and gas. While a few years ago CEOs where I believe Vietnam believe there is a more fundamental shift taking
might have been tempted to consider the BRICs will come out as the top place, namely from a globalising world to one with
as one bloc (so to speak), today they seem to be beneficial member of the
many dimensions of power, growth and threats
sizing up opportunities on a case-by-case basis. TPPs 12 nations but
a transition that we call multi-polar. The majority
Some are employing a wait and see approach because Vietnam is in
the middle of the AEC, of CEOs already anticipate this shift: 59% expect
to these markets, while others are forging multiple economic models, 75% expect increasing
ahead bolstered by their confidence in these the ASEAN Economic
Community, which will regionalisation in trade, over 81% see increasingly
countries longer term fundamental strengths divergent systems of laws and liberties, and 83%
be fully integrated by
not least a large and growing middle class. predict differing fundamental belief systems
the end of 2015.
Don Lam underpinning societies (see Figure 4). No wonder
Chief Executive Officer there is so much concern about growth and where
and Founding Partner, it will come from.
VinaCapital, Vietnam

Figure 4 CEOs must navigate an increasingly complicated and multi-polar world

Q: For each alternative, please select the one that you believe the world is moving more towards

Nationalism and
Political unions 39% 53% devolved nations

Economic unions
Multiple economic
and unified 35% 59%
economic models

Single global Regional trading

22% 75%
marketplace blocs

Single global rule Multiple rules of

15% 81%
of law and liberties law and liberties

Common global
beliefs and value Multiple beliefs
14% 83%
systems and value systems

Free and open

Fragmented access
access to the 72% 25%
to the internet

A global world Regional

15% 79%
bank investment banks

PwC 9
Growing in complicated times

The one area where CEOs, in contrast, see

For a number of years we Figure 5 CEOs see more threats to their
business today than three years ago greater convergence is the internet but even
saw a consolidation in this plays a core role in highlighting divergent
the regulatory Q: To what extent do you agree/disagree that there are
more growth opportunities/threats for your company
beliefs even as it brings the world closer together.
environment that we
than there were three years ago?
operate in, but over the
past five plus years there This greater devolution of power brings both
2015 2016 threats and opportunities. Different points of
has been a divergence.
Countries like China, 31% view, exacerbated by economic insecurities,
are certainly leading to more conflict. But
South Korea, India and
Brazil have all created regional trading blocs, for example, can lead
their own regulatory see only more to better quality trade agreements and policies.
regimes which in theory opportunities

Theres evidence that most business leaders,
are similar to those of for example, are optimistic about deeper
other countries, but have economic integration as a result of the Asia-
enough differences to
30% see more Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC).1
create a divergence.
Michael Daniell
This isnt to say that globalisation is dead.
Managing Director and CEO, see both more
Fisher & Paykel Healthcare opportunities
The climate change accord reached at the
Corporation Ltd., New Zealand and more threats United Nations Climate Change Conference

in Paris in December 2015 is a good example
of inter-governmental cooperation.
29% see more
threats Given the plethora of uncertainties CEOs are
facing, its little wonder that theyre divided
see only
about whether there are more threats or
opportunities today. Two thirds of CEOs (66%)
more threats believe that their business faces more threats
today than three years ago, while almost as many
(60%) see more opportunities (see Figure 5).
Base: All respondents (2016=1,409; 2015=1,322)

10 19th Annual Global CEO Survey

Steering a true course in an
uncertain world We have a lot of treaties,
a lot of rules, a lot of
CEOs understand that despite the tremendous
conventions we need
challenges they face in managing their business
to make sure they can
for today, they also need to look ahead and handle the problems of
build a business thats ready for the more today. We also need to be
complex global marketplace of the future. sure we dont replace them
To equip themselves for this challenge, CEOs with something worse.
are focusing on three core capabilities that Michael Mller
we will examine in more detail. Director-General, United
Nations Office at Geneva
(UNOG), Switzerland
The first capability is based around
addressing greater expectations. CEOs
acknowledge that their customers as well as Youve got to run a
company for profit, youve
other stakeholders increasingly want them
got to run it for revenue
to do more to tackle important problems. The growth, but you also have
response for many has been to focus even more to run it to be around ten
strongly on customer needs as well as drawing years from now doing the
on their companies own sense of purpose what right things. Thats one
they stand for to define a more comprehensive of the biggest issues most
view of how their businesses operate within CEOs face today.
society. Some CEOs are taking concrete steps Ajay Banga
to align this broader mission to their companys President and Chief Executive
Officer, MasterCard, US
core goal of profitability.

The second harnesses technology,

innovation and talent to execute the
strategies that meet these greater
expectations. CEOs are using technology to get
closer to consumers but are being challenged to Tough questions to ask about
align all parts of their operating model behind
customer strategies. Some companies are growing in complicated times
bridging what we call an execution gap by
shaping their entire value proposition, strategy,
operations and capabilities tightly around a Have you adjusted your operational model to accommodate
strong commitment to what they stand for. future potential increases to your cost of capital as interest
Theyre also looking to build better innovation rates rise and currency markets become more volatile?
and people capabilities to address changing
customer expectations.
Are you tracking the right risks around new political dynamics
The final capability CEOs are looking to such as geopolitical uncertainty and cybersecurity as they
develop are methods of measuring and replace concerns related to coping with the financial crisis?
communicating success. CEOs are seeking
to better measure the impact and value of Whats your organisation doing to prepare itself to respond
innovation and key risks for stakeholders.
to and recover from crisis?
Companies are addressing these challenges
through a greater focus on data and technology
to gain better insight into business processes Do you have a strategy in place for a more divergent world
and to measure a broader range of variables. where authority and influence are more widely distributed?
Theyre also looking to better communicate
a range of softer issues in a reliable and How are you preparing your organisation to face non-
consistent way across multiple channels.
traditional competitors now and in the future?

PwC 11
Addressing greater

As technology and other factors create an The views of these and other stakeholders,
environment of higher transparency, CEOs have The way we deal with our including employees and investors, arent just
set their radar on a wide range of stakeholders. customers and charge our evolving but diverging, as CEOs have told us.
Customers remain the top priority, with 90% of customers and delight our Customer behaviour, in particular, has become
CEOs indicating they have a high or very high customers has changed more complicated as values and buying
completely from the old
impact on their business strategy (see Figure 6). preferences evolve. The three biggest trends
way of doing business.
But government and regulators come in second CEOs see as most influencing those views
Johan Dennelind
(cited by 69% of CEOs). Thats higher than technological advances, demographic changes
CEO, TeliaSonera AB, Sweden
industry competitors and peers (67%) and no and global economic shifts as well as the
doubt reflects CEOs enduring concerns about interactions between them, are only going to
over-regulation in the marketplace. continue to drive change (see Figure B, Looking
for more data?, page 34).

Figure 6 Customers and clients are top priority for CEOs

Q: What impact do the following wider stakeholder groups have on your organisations strategy?

90% 69% 67% 51% 48% 41%

Customers Government Industry competitors Employees Supply chain Providers of
and clients and regulators and peers (including partners capital (including
trade unions) activist investors)
Note: Respondents who indicated high or very high impact

12 19th Annual Global CEO Survey

So what do your stakeholders want?
Figure 7 CEOs believe customers are seeking relationships with
We were not surprised to see that the majority organisations that address wider stakeholder needs
of CEOs (70%) feel their customers are most
interested in cost, convenience and functionality. Q: Thinking about the wider stakeholder expectations you see, which of these
statements best describes your organisation today?
But we were surprised to discover that more
than a quarter (27%) of CEOs believe that Q: Which of these statements best describes successful organisations in your
their customers are seeking relationships with sector in five years' time?

organisations that address wider stakeholder

needs (Figure 7). This surges to 44% when CEOs Our purpose is centred
on creating value for
consider what their customers will prioritise in five wider stakeholders
We prioritise long-
term over short-
years time. In the future it seems clear that CEOs We report on financial term profitability
believe customers will put a premium on the way and non-financial 81% 67% 82%
matters in our reporting
companies conduct themselves in global society.
Thats a lot of change in a relatively short time.
And it isnt just happening on the customer front.
On the talent side its even more pronounced. 70%
Corporate Our customers seek
Fifty-nine percent of CEOs believe that top responsibility relationships with
talent wants to work with organisations that is core to 27% organisations that
everything Today address wider
share their social values and 67% feel it will we do 64% 44% stakeholder needs
In five years
be important in five years. Meanwhile, 37%
of CEOs believe their investors seek ethical
investments and 45% believe this will be 59% Top talent prefers
the case in five years. 85% to work for
37% organisations
67% with social
At the heart of this evolution in values lies 84% 55% 45% values which
52% are aligned to
technology. CEOs are convinced it will We are expected Our investors are their own
to address wider
transform stakeholder expectations of business stakeholder needs
Creating value for seeking ethical
wider stakeholders investments
in the next five years, with 77% of business helps us to be
leaders naming it as a top-three influencer. profitable

Mobile connectivity and social media in

particular have become fundamental ways to

get information and buy goods and services.2 ... as a consequence of the
The Uberization of a growing number of internet and the digital
sectors offering quick, simple and dynamic way of doing things,
ways to access goods and services using mobile customers basically of CEOs say customers
apps is also becoming an important trend in want to do a lot of things have the biggest impact
changing customer perceptions of value. At the themselves. Theyre on strategy
same time, these technologies are giving more self-directed, as we call it.
people more access to more information about They know everything.
what companies do and the impact of their They Google everything.
Therefore they come to the
actions. Together, these factors are helping to
bank with a completely
reshape how people interact with and think different expectation.
about brands, albeit in very different ways.
Ralph Hamers
CEO, ING Group, Netherlands

PwC 13
Addressing greater expectations

Is this the era of the good consumer? Yet interpreting customer views isnt a simple
Its long been assumed that only a small I think our social black-or-white picture. Those same emerging
percentage of consumers seek out ethical purpose and the markets consumers, in Asia Pacific for example,
and sustainable products and services. associated emotional are still happy to drive SUVs as opposed to more
engagement from our fuel-efficient vehicles.7 And theres evidence
Theres growing evidence, however, that this
colleagues is one of the that those same millennials who value so-called
is changing. Take the consumer goods giant,
keys to developing a
Unilever. Its portfolio of so-called Sustainable green products and services are also driven by
winning successful
Living brands now equals half of the companys getting the best deal.8
strategy for Legal &
total growth and is growing twice as fast as General. Why that is
Unilevers other brands.3 Its just one of nine important is it creates A central concern the quest for trust
companies globally that generate a billion tremendous trust Its hard enough for companies to juggle current
dollars or more in annual revenue from amongst our customers customer expectations while delivering results
sustainable products or services.4 Indeed, in and the other politicians
year in, year out. Yet CEOs know that they must
2015 sales of consumer goods from brands with who are helping shape
take on an even more challenging task and that
a demonstrated commitment to sustainability the future, whether those
are local politicians or is to start preparing their businesses today for
grew more than 4% globally.5 As Wilson Ferreira the more complex customers of tomorrow. They
national politicians, and
Jr., CEO of CPFL Energia, observes, Todays worry that not doing so could impact trust in
they want to engage with
consumers make choices not only based on the trustworthy companies. their brand, creating a significant risk to the
quality of the service provided, but even based long-term viability of their business. CEOs are
Dr. Nigel Wilson
on the causes that a company supports. In fact, CEO, Legal & General, UK all too familiar with the fallout from breaches
we are living in the era of the good consumer. of trust. Over half the CEOs surveyed (55%)
are concerned about the lack of trust in business
Part of this change is being amplified by today compared with 37% just three years
demographics: the millennial generation and its ago. The Edelman Trust Barometer 2015 also
growing purchasing power. Globally, 10,000 showed that public levels of trust in business
people turn 30 every day and it appears theyre in 2015 had declined to the lowest level since
more likely to buy from companies that take 2008 and that CEOs were seen as among
action on sustainability issues.6 Campbell Soup the least credible sources of information.9
is one company thats taking notice. Its just The challenge facing business leaders is
bought Plum Organic Baby Food, giving the this: are they trusted to help navigate this
company a window into millennial parents increasingly complex landscape?
and an understanding of how to improve the
way children are eating and making healthier Perhaps the most eloquent description of the
selections at a very young age ... Training the problem was articulated by John Nelson,
taste-buds of the next generation is meaningful chairman of Lloyds, the global specialist
to us, and very much aligned with our company insurance market. As he explained to a meeting
purpose, according to Denise Morrison, of business leaders in 2015, Most concerning
President and Chief Executive Officer of of all in my mind is that we are seeing a definite
US-based Campbell Soup Company. shift in the attitudes towards business of
populations around the world. There is a lack
And what about the expectations of emerging of trust in business big business in particular
markets consumers? They face the challenges and this is leading in terms of real issues
of forging a middle-class lifestyle amid in some cases to mistrust in capitalism.10
diminishing access to natural resources and
rapid urbanisation, with its associated problems There is a body of research supporting the
like pollution and overcrowding. CEOs in Africa idea that, when there is a high level of trust
and Asia Pacific are more likely to say that their in a company, it drives business performance
customers seek out organisations that address by attracting new customers and retaining
the needs of a wider set of stakeholders (39% existing ones.11 A high level of trust also makes
and 31%, respectively) compared to the global employees more committed to staying with
total (27%). the company, partners are more willing to
collaborate and investors more prepared
to entrust stewardship of their funding.
Consequently, those organisations that can
build trust seem to garner significant benefits.

14 19th Annual Global CEO Survey

Figure 8 A majority of leaders have an organisational purpose that
reflects greater expectations of business

Q: In which of the following ways has your organisational purpose been impacted by
wider stakeholder expectations?

45% 24%
Changed within
Have always had last three years
broader purpose

Not changed and not
considering doing so

Not changed but
considering doing so

What do you stand for? Figure 9 CEOs describe their corporate

In this increasingly complex world, are leaders ... our purpose is to be purpose in terms of value for a
altering their organisations purpose in order to an effective, responsible variety of stakeholders
reflect greater expectations of business? We champion of low-
carbon electricity. Q: In your own words, what is the purpose of your
found that almost one in four (24%) said their organisation today? To create value for...
Jean-Bernard Lvy
organisations purpose had changed within the
CEO and Chairman, EDF,
last three years to reflect broader stakeholder France Our customers 53%
expectations, and an additional 45% felt that this
had always been the case. In total 69% of all Wider society 31%
Purpose is something you
CEOs linked their organisations purpose to a
carry in your heart, not
broad set of constituents in society (see Figure 8). something an ad agency Our business 26%
makes up. So we pulled
But what do CEOs really mean by purpose? For the companys purpose Our shareholders 16%
some, its why their business exists; for others out of our peoples hearts
its more around what their businesses do or and manifested it in seven Our people 14%
aim to achieve, or how business is done. And words: Real food that
how do they perceive their organisations matters for lifes moments. Our supply chain 5%
broader impact on society? When asked to We validated those words
describe their corporate purpose, CEOs talked with consumers and our Base: 1,982 (includes additional interviews in some countries)

about value for one or more of a variety of employees. Consumers Note: Respondents may have highlighted more than one dimension
told us stories about how in response to this question.
stakeholders, including shareholders, supply
our brands really matter
chain partners, employees, customers and to them. Thats led to an
society at large as well as their business itself, umbrella over all of our
in terms of things like growth, productivity or brands, that purpose can
costs (see Figure 9). encompass and motivate
our people around why
what we do every day
Denise Morrison
President and Chief Executive
Officer, Campbell Soup
Company, US

PwC 15
Addressing greater expectations

Over half of CEOs (53%) define their

... once you have done organisation by the value thats created for
your bit fulfilled your customers. But of those CEOs, over a third
social responsibilities (35%) also talk about value for wider society,
of CEOs say creating value and formed a community employees and/or supply chain partners,
with shared interests,
for wider stakeholders reflecting a clear recognition of the changing
helps profitability with local people
expectations of their customers.
they will welcome your
projects and provide huge
support. So a companys This acknowledgement of the changing needs
own interest and the of customers as well as those of other
social value it provides stakeholders, including their employees is
are closely connected. reflected in other ways that CEOs describe their
In fact, this is also a kind organisation. Eighty-four percent of CEOs
of investment, and it believe their companies are expected to address
always brings returns. wider stakeholder expectations; 82% tell us
Li Huaizhen their company prioritises long-term over
President, China Minsheng short-term views; 64% say that corporate social
Investment Corp., Ltd., China
responsibility is core to their business rather
than being a stand-alone programme; and 72%
say their company reports on non-financial as
well as financial matters (see Figure 7).

16 19th Annual Global CEO Survey

Forty-six percent of CEOs, meanwhile, say
You know, very recently we profitability is the platform that helps provide
reviewed the companys value for a wider set of stakeholders. As Don
purpose, and we made a Lam, Chief Executive Officer and Founding
slight change. It used to be Partner of Vietnam-based investment
Building the Future. Now management and real estate development
its Building a Better firm VinaCapital, says, ... our core objective
Future. CEMEX is a
as an investment firm is always making money
company that embraced
for investors, first and foremost. The reason
sustainability a long time
ago and we believe that why Im saying that ... is that you need to make
sustainability is creating a money so that you can use that profit and give
new economy, a different it back to society.
type of economy, reshaping
certain economic activities. CEOs arent only responding to customer and
And were saying that the other stakeholder needs however; theyre very
first companies to aware that their competitors and peers are
understand and embrace also preparing for the future. Five years from
this will be the companies now, CEOs believe that the most successful
that will be on top of the
organisations in their sector will have shifted
trend and doing better
their views and priorities in terms of recognising
business than others.
changing expectations and the value in addressing
Fernando Gonzalez Olivieri
them, embedding corporate responsibility into
CEO, CEMEX, Mexico
their business, reporting on non-financial
matters and taking the long-term view.

Such efforts, moreover, are seen to be
compatible with profitability, albeit in different
ways. Fifty-two percent of CEOs say that Tough questions to ask about
creating value for a wider set of stakeholders addressing greater expectations
helps profitability. Richard Goyder, Managing
Director of Wesfarmers, a diversified
conglomerate headquartered in Australia, puts
Has your organisation undertaken scenario modelling or
it this way, I dont think, as a listed company,
theres any doubt that our primary objective is
other initiatives to better understand how global trends like
to generate returns for our investors. But we technological advances, demographic changes and global
have to do that sustainably, we have to do it economic shifts are driving customer expectations today
ethically and we have to do it in a way that and tomorrow?
contributes to the communities in which we
operate. Thats for our own good anyway.
How are your CIO and CMO working together to make the
Because if we help the communities in which we
operate then those communities will have more
best use of data analytics for a full picture of your customers
capacity to do business with us in the future. now and into the future? How about your workforce?

As customers, employees and other stakeholders

increasingly care about what companies stand for, how are
you demonstrating your organisations purpose and values?

How is your organisation building trust by better understanding

stakeholders views?

PwC 17
Transforming: technology,
innovation and talent
Walking the talk

We have to have Its evident that most businesses today, in
propositions which are defining what they stand for, recognise the
based on sound ethics needs of a wider set of stakeholders and
of CEOs say additional but which customers
their customers expectations about how they
costs of doing are prepared to pay a
address those needs. Translating a broader
business are a barrier commercial price for.
And getting that balance corporate purpose into the everyday, however,
to responding to
right is fascinating and is another matter entirely. Even the most
stakeholder expectations
not necessarily committed can find it challenging in the
straightforward. extreme to reshape their company while facing
Richard Pennycook day-to-day battles on every front to fight off
CEO, The Co-operative competition, grow revenues and cut costs.
Group, UK

There are a number of barriers that CEOs say

theyre encountering when responding to the
changing expectations of customers and other
stakeholders. Chief among these are the
additional costs of doing business, cited by
45% of CEOs (see Figure 10). Compliance with
unclear or inconsistent regulations, cited by
42% of CEOs, also incur costs, which are often
passed onto customers via higher prices (see
Why government and business need to work
together, page 24). This adds to the premium
that customers often have to pay for goods and
services deemed sustainable something that
31% of CEOs dont think theyre willing to pay.

18 19th Annual Global CEO Survey

Figure 10 CEOs are facing a number of barriers to execution when responding to changing
customer and stakeholder expectations

Q: Which of the following barriers, if any, is your organisation encountering when responding to wider stakeholder

Additional costs
45% to doing business

Unclear or inconsistent
standards or regulations

Conflict between stakeholder interests

33% and financial performace expectations

31% Customers unwillingness to pay

31% Lack of the right capabilities

Insufficient information about

24% wider stakeholder expectations

Inability to effectively
23% execute on our strategy

Misalignment between stakeholder

20% interests and business strategy

These barriers to execution are creating

conflicts for companies trying to balance
changing stakeholder expectations with
pursuing business growth and profitability
over both the short and long term.

Nevertheless, CEOs are increasingly aware that

they must overcome these barriers in order to
transform their businesses and align them fully
behind broader strategies.

PwC 19
Transforming: technology, innovation and talent

Figure 11 Technology and risk management are the top areas in which
Putting technology to work
CEOs are making significant changes to respond to Technology, as in most situations nowadays,
stakeholder expectations can help.
Q: To what extent are you making changes in the following areas in response to
changing stakeholder expectations? As weve seen in the previous section, business
leaders understand all too well how technology
is transforming their relationship with
How we use technology to customers as well as other stakeholders. So it
assess and deliver on wider 6% 39% 51%
stakeholder expectations makes sense that they see technology as the best
way to assess and deliver on changing customer
How we define and manage expectations, with 51% of CEOs making
6% 44% 49%
risks significant changes in this area (see Figure 11).

How we manage our At the top of CEOs minds is the use of technology
brand, marketing and 6% 44% 48%
communications to better interpret the complex and evolving
needs of customers in order to better engage
How we measure success with them. Nearly a quarter of CEOs (24%) feel
and what we hold 11% 51% 35%
ourselves accountable for they dont have enough information about what
customers or other stakeholders want, and a
How we partner and who recent PwC survey showed that the top-three
12% 51% 34%
we partner with challenge most cited by global operations leaders
(63%) is understanding what customers value.12
Workforce rights and Sixty-eight percent of CEOs back the power of
9% 57% 33%
wellbeing data and analytics to deliver these results and
65% favour customer relationship management
How we minimise social (CRM) systems (see Figure 12).
and environmental impacts 14% 49% 31%
of our business operations
Indeed, CEOs growing faith in, and
Our values, ethics and dependence on, data and analytics signals
codes of conduct 24% 44% 31% just how far a data-based, scientific mindset
has penetrated even the complex world of
How we maximise societal stakeholder management. And as big data,
value of our R&D and 15% 45% 30%
cloud computing and the Internet of Things
become even more important in modern
How we develop new business, the role that technology plays in
ethical products and 18% 49% 23%
helping understand wider stakeholder
expectations is also being applied to meeting
How we minimise social and even surpassing those expectations.
and environmental impacts 18% 51% 23%
of our supply chain

How we manage
our tax affairs 34% 44% 18%

No change at all Some change Significant change

20 19th Annual Global CEO Survey

The innovation edge Figure 12 Most CEOs see data and analytics
Over half of CEOs ranked R&D and innovation ... the biggest opportunity
technologies as generating the
for us is digitalisation ... greatest return for stakeholder
technologies as generating the greatest return
and based on [that] we engagement
in terms of successful stakeholder engagement will improve all our
(see Figure 12). The winners in the innovation business and create Q: Select the connecting technologies you think generate
game, however, will be those that harness the greatest return in terms of engagement with wider
added value for all stakeholders
technology and innovation to deliver products our stakeholders.
and services that are cost-effective, convenient, Mikko Helander
functional and sustainable. President and CEO, Kesko
Corporation, Finland
Today, some of the most in-demand products
reflect customers changing values. Take Nests
energy efficiency home monitors for example,
The major trend that
all industries face is the
or Nikes shoes and clothing developed with impact of technology Data and

tools enabling suppliers and designers to on every single aspect
quickly assess sustainability criteria. Companies of a company. Whether
its your operational Customer relationship
like GE, meanwhile, are pioneering innovation management systems
in healthcare and smart cities. efficiency in applying
technology to traditionally
manual processes.
Digitisation is central to these efforts, allowing
companies to obtain and utilise data about
Whether its enhanced 53% R&D and innovation
intelligence, from big data
business processes thats necessary to support analysis to help managing
innovation efforts, and to remove costs from the marketing, risk, product
system through greater efficiencies. creation, or assessment
of ideas technology Social media communications
And while technology plays a critical role is going to lead to sea 50% and engagement

in innovation, often its in conjunction with changes in how companies

business model change as epitomised by the are organised and run
across all industries, and Web-enabled
likes of Airbnb and its sharing economy peers. collaboration tools
ours is no different.
Brian Moynihan
Most companies, however, struggle to achieve Online reporting
Chief Executive Officer, Bank technologies
innovation-led growth. Innovating to meet of America Corporation, US
customers changing demands for sustainable 33%
and ethical goods and services adds a
challenging dimension to this pursuit, one that
Our company was
founded by Thomas
many companies are only just beginning to 23% 21%
Edison almost 130 years
address. This probably explains why fewer ago and he has a great
numbers of CEOs are making significant change quote that I like repeating
in maximising the societal value of their R&D very much. He said: I Personal data security
and innovation and developing ethical products find out what the world
Social listening tools
and services (see Figure 11). needs. Then, I go ahead Investor
and invent it. And that relationship tools
has been exactly the core
value of our company
over 130 years. We listen
to our customers. We
understand what they
need and we continuously
innovate around
customer needs. While
were doing that, the area
that we have chosen for
ourselves is solving tough
world problems.
Canan M. zsoy
President and CEO, General
Electric Turkey

PwC 21
Transforming: technology, innovation and talent

The people edge

As companies look to meet the complicated To meet these new I believe shareholder
expectations of stakeholders and society, they expectations, were value is not about
will need a new generation of people with an leveraging our R&D and increasing the short-term
our 2000 researchers, stock price but about a
entrepreneurial mindset who can harness
who are developing set of strategic actions
technology and drive innovation.
innovations for the smart led by innovation and
grid, new energies, employee commitment
Sometimes its easy to equate technology-led carbon storage, and more. that aim at long-term
success solely with Silicon Valley internet Were also developing new value creation in a
models. However, PwCs comprehensive study offers, with household sustainable manner.
of the worlds self-made billionaires showed that management services like Andr Calantzopoulos
over 80% of these mega-wealthy individuals the Linky metre, EDF & Chief Executive Officer,
made their fortunes in highly competitive Moi and e-equilibre. Philip Morris International,
Inc., Switzerland
markets like consumer products, retail or Jean-Bernard Lvy
business services.13 This means that almost CEO and Chairman, EDF,
any market can be reinvented.

Figure 13 CEOs are most likely to change their talent strategy to focus on their leadership pipeline

Q: What aspects of your talent strategy are you changing to make the greatest impact on attracting, retaining and
engaging the people you need to remain relevant and competitive?

Our focus on our pipeline

of future leaders 49%
Workplace culture and
behaviours 41%

Effective performance

Pay, incentives and benefits
we provide for our workforce

Our focus on skills and

adaptability in our people 30%
Our reputation as ethical and
socially responsibile employers 29%
Our focus on diversity
and inclusion 22%
Our focus on productivity through
automation and technology 16%
Our use of predictive
workforce analysis 4%

22 19th Annual Global CEO Survey

Its no wonder, then, that 72% of CEOs are Think about the new skills that CEOs need to
concerned about the availability of key skills, We have a very strong be comfortable with, if current CEO predictions
particularly with 48% planning to increase corporate culture. It is are right. They'll need to be able to operate in
headcount in the coming year. And it explains very much centred on a world with multiple stakeholders, different
why by far the most CEOs (75%) say that a being a responsible values and diverse attitudes toward law and
skilled, educated and adaptable workforce owner, being a rights, all in an increasingly volatile economic
responsible employer and
should be a priority for business in the country context. In addition, they will have to be
having a role in society,
where theyre based (see Figure 14). This is such comfortable with data, analytics and many new
as well as of course
a vital factor that CEOs see it as a top priority creating profitable technologies. This type of leader will also need
for both business and government together. companies ... I think its to be able to develop new leaders with the right
Brian Moynihan, Chief Executive Officer at also a competitive edge to skills and adaptability to deliver the people
Bank of America Corporation acknowledges the have in the coming 10 to edge required.
importance of people, Even with all the new 20 years.
technology, people skills are actually more Susanna Campbell Focusing on the leadership pipeline will also help
important now. Whether its providing day-to- CEO, Ratos AB, Sweden ensure that future leaders can present consistent
day services in our bank branches or managing messages to the wider employee base, and the

our data analytics: its all about people. visibility and tone from the top thats necessary
to turn words into action.
So what are CEOs doing to develop the
workforce they need for today and tomorrow? of CEOs are changing The ability to align the entire workforce behind
Nearly half are making changes to how they their focus on the business and growth goals, however, is also
develop their leadership pipeline (see Figure leadership pipeline critical to execution. As Susan Lloyd-Hurwitz,
13). Its not hard to understand why. This new CEO and Managing Director of Australia-based
generation of leaders has grown up in a asset management company Mirvac Group says,
different world and is better equipped to tackle Aligning people to the business, the changes, the
thorny societal issues. expectations and our purpose is absolutely key.

PwC 23
Transforming: technology, innovation and talent

Why government and business need But viewing government through a combative
to work together Regulators have to lens is unlikely to help companies in the long
Across every industry, tensions abound between understand the new run. For one thing, government and regulators
companies, who believe they can be trusted to environment in which we have a big impact on companies, with 69% of
operate in order to make CEOs citing them as highly influential on
do the right thing, and governments that arent
public policies that really business strategy. And, despite their complaints
so sure. The regulations governments are trying
respond to the new
to enforce are intended to be in the best interests about government interference, many companies
situations rather than
of the public, as consumers or employees. But expect the state to provide considerable help,
getting carried away
they can involve reforms, penalties or higher by the sort of political whether its improving workforce skills and
taxes for business that result in higher costs - situations or populism education or the infrastructure needed by any
including those that arise when business doesnt that sometimes lead to modern economy.
have enough clarity about how regulations inadequate public
should be interpreted and implemented. These policies, which can slow As both business and government navigate
costs, in turn, are likely to be passed onto down development and, changing public expectations, theyre going
customers in the form of higher prices. in our case, can hinder to need each other more than they might think.
us in our task of creating In the end, businesses want to create the best
value and trust. value they can for customers, and doing that
This no doubt contributes to CEOs near
universal frustration that over-regulation is David Bojanini increasingly means creating the best value
President, Grupo SURA, they can for society at large. These are the
a threat to their companys growth, and why Colombia
42% cite unclear or inconsistent regulations same goals government shares a win-win.
as a barrier to responding to changing customer
expectations. Whats more, increasingly For business, understanding why regulation
divergent political and legal systems around is there in the first place, rather than focusing
the world make it harder for multinationals only on interpretation and compliance can help
to comply with rules or standards in their ease the stand-off. Regulations are often first
countries of operation without falling foul introduced in response to a market failure or
of their home countrys laws. to embed good business practice in legislation.
Recognising the spirit of what government is
trying to achieve can help businesses pre-empt
the need for regulation by establishing core
principles and values to guide decision-making.
It also paves the way for active alignment with
government goals and programmes in order
to help shape them and improve their
effectiveness. Such actions will also serve
to rebuild trust with regulators.

On the other hand, more recognition is needed

by government of the extent to which regulation
can create additional burdens and costs, which
must be weighed against societal benefits. If
business expects constant legislative change, a
climate of uncertainty will threaten investment,
national growth and competitiveness. Whats
needed is regulation thats proportionate,
accountable, consistent, transparent and
targeted. Streamlining public sector processes
through digitisation and involving business
in the co-design of implementation can also
go a long way toward enabling this process and
easing the compliance burden for companies.

24 19th Annual Global CEO Survey

Figure 14 CEOs say that creating a skilled, educated and adaptable
workforce should be a priority for both business and Generally, social spheres
government that go beyond a
company's business
Q: Which three of these outcomes should be government/business priorities in the and need investment the
country in which you are based?
most are education and
65% healthcare. Education
is the care of human life.
A skilled, educated and Herman Gref
be a top-three government prioirty

CEO and Chairman

% of CEOs who think issue should

Adequate physical and adaptable workforce

digital infrastructure of the Executive Board,
Sberbank, Russia

High levels of employment

Reduced environmental impacts

Greater income
of CEOs say that a
equality Good health and well-being of the workforce skilled, educated and
Safeguards around Workforce diversity and inclusiveness adaptable workforce
usage of personal data should be a priority
for business
0 % of CEOs who think issue should be a top-three business priority 80%

This is, however, proving challenging for
organisations to achieve. Despite the
importance of getting the right talent, just 30% Tough questions to ask about
of CEOs are making changes to their focus on
skills and adaptability in their people (Figure transforming: technology,
13). And despite their embrace of technology innovation and talent
in all things customer-related, companies are
doing little to change either how they use
technology to improve productivity or their use How are you ensuring youre investing in the right
of workforce analytics, with only 4% of CEOs technologies to enable open engagement with your
seeking change in that area (see Figure 13). customers and wider stakeholder groups?
CEOs also recognise the importance of tying
Have you identified the right capabilities to support you
workplace culture to behaviour, with 41%
making changes to this aspect of their talent from strategy to execution?
strategies (see Figure 13). Indeed, companies
that are highly coherent those with strong Is your innovation geared towards generating offerings that
alignment between their value proposition, meet big societal needs and generate good long-term ROI?
capabilities, and products and services view
their culture as their greatest asset.14 But despite
the cultural changes that CEOs are making
What are you doing to enable your people to work towards
in their people strategies, such developments better meeting new and wider stakeholder expectations?
dont loom large in the context of the wider
organisation. Just 31% of CEOs are pursuing How are you working with government to create better
significant changes to values, ethics and codes outcomes for customers and employees?
of conduct compared to 51% for technology.

PwC 25
Measuring and
communicating success
In a complex and rapidly changing world, we

were interested in understanding which areas We like to measure
CEOs want to better measure and which areas things. We say internally
they want to better communicate to the that if you cannot
of CEOs think business multiple stakeholders who interact with their measure it, it doesnt
could do more to organisations. We found that the key metrics CEOs exist. Thats something
measure the impact would like to improve are the ones traditionally that we always mention
and value of innovation because thats the way
seen as harder drivers of business success like
that we approach things.
innovation and risks, while the areas they want
Dr. Nuno Amado
to better communicate are emotional, softer
CEO, Banco Comercial
issues around values and purpose (see Figure 15). Portugus, S.A., Portugal

But customers are seeking information about

both the hard and soft drivers of business
success. Indeed, real-time dashboards created
and managed by users themselves are becoming
feasible, raising expectations for more fresh and
relevant information and ways of viewing it.

Ultimately the CEO must deal with matters

of the head and the heart, the rational and the
emotional. Our research suggests that there is
much room to improve on both the assessment
and communication of key business areas,
including of course, core financial data.

A new mindset for measurement

How should business be doing more to measure
impact and value as stakeholder expectations
evolve? We put this question to CEOs and the
top-two areas they identified brought to
mind the fabled Chinese character for crisis
a combination of the symbols for risk and
opportunity. Over half of CEOs (55%) cited

26 19th Annual Global CEO Survey

the need to measure innovation, with the
Figure 15 CEOs are seeking to better communicate softer issues
measurement of risk coming a close second and to better measure harder drivers of business success
(53%) (see Figure 15). This complex, combined
Q: In which of the following areas do you think business should be doing more to
theme resonates in many CEOs responses they measure/communicate impact and value for wider stakeholders?
recognise the world has changed and that they
must deal both with the new while protecting Q: Please select the stakeholder group which you believe would be most influential
in causing you to communicate in each of these areas (Predominant Stakeholder
the old; theyre forging ahead to serve multiple Influencers, PSI)
stakeholders while focusing on delivering a
profit for shareholders and better convenience, 1st 55%
price and functionality for customers. Innovation 4th 48%
PSI: Customers and clients

With most companies not yet having cracked 2nd 53%

the code on measuring innovation, its little Key risks
7th 35%
surprise that this is the area most CEOs want PSI: Providers of capital (including activist investors)
to better measure. And it could help explain
3rd 44%
why CEOs struggle with how to optimise the Non-financial
indicators 3rd 50%
societal value of R&D and innovation.
PSI: Customers and clients

A large part of the challenge lies in the adoption Business 4th 39%
and use of technology. Theres a digital divide strategy 2nd 54%
between those organisations that have grown PSI: Employees / Providers of capital (including activist investors)

up in the digital world, and everyone else. Environmental 5th 39%

Digital native companies have a comprehensive impact 6th 44%
set of online data about their entire business, PSI: Government and regulators

with feedback response loops at every point of

Employee 6th 39%
their processes. They are, indeed, constantly practices 8th 35%
managing metrics, making them very effective PSI: Employees
at process change and quick, effective execution
Non-statutory 7th 37%
a key driver of successful innovation. financial
information 9th 35%
PSI: Providers of capital (including activist investors)
And its not simply about digitalisation and
moving everything online, but continuously Organisational 8th 33%
purpose and
generating, collecting, analysing and reporting value 1st 59%
information, with coverage thats both deep PSI: Employees

and broad. 9th 30%

Impact on wider
communities 5th 44%
It's clear that CEOs recognise the importance of PSI: General public

data and analytics, with most citing this as the

Traditional 10th 30%
technology that they think provides the highest
financial 10th 30%
return for stakeholder engagement (see Figure statements
PSI: Providers of capital
12). The thirst for better speed and accuracy in
this more dynamic environment is growing and Measure Communicate
new competitors who start with a fresh, faster
measurement system are driving entire
industries forward at a quicker pace.

PwC 27
Measuring and communicating success

Can everything be confidently

measured? ... we are driven by the ... in 2002 we introduced Our Integrated Report
Getting a good grip on measuring innovation and bottom line in our balance the GRI (Global Reporting evaluates and
people processes is fundamental. But as customer sheet. I am convinced, Initiative) standards in demonstrates this value
however, that this result is Brazil, together with two while responding to the
expectations change, CEOs also recognise the
really genuine as long as it other companies. We GRI (Global Reporting
need to widen the scope of what they measure to incorporated and Initiative) indicators,
observes the sustainability
include stakeholder inputs that lie outside their principles. This for me is translated these standards which represent the current
immediate business environment. an indicator of success. and now we have become standard in sustainability
We are also motivated by an agent that reports its reporting. This report calls
Seventy-two percent of CEOs spread across the fact that the company results based on this on us to identify the key
all regions say their company reports on both is always listed in the top methodology. In the last issues for our stakeholders
financial and non-financial matters. In five 10 in ranking of prestige. two years we have moved and to measure the
years time, 81% think that the most successful I dont know if it can be towards the integrated management results and
organisations in their sector will be doing this. considered an indicator report hence the issues information from our
And 76% say that business success in the 21st of success, but it is very of transparency, corporate entire organisation.
gratifying. governance, shareholder Manuel Manrique
century will be defined by more than just
Luis Pagani equity and accountability. President and CEO, Sacyr,
financial profit (see Figure 16). I would say that these Spain
Presidente, Grupo Arcor,
Argentina themes may have been
The ability of companies to consider non- optional for some
financial indicators of success is testament companies, but they have
to how dramatically the field of sustainability not been optional for
reporting and measurement has grown in the CPFL for quite some time.
last 15 years. Going forward, the adoption of Wilson Ferreira Jr.
the United Nations Sustainable Development CEO, CPFL Energia, Brazil

28 19th Annual Global CEO Survey

Goals will help drive the measurement of a
wider range of impacts. Technology and data Figure 16 A majority of CEOs agree that business success will be
again are key: digitising and instrumenting defined by more than financial profit
business processes can improve efficiencies,
Q: To what extent do you agree that business success in the 21st century will be
recognise and account for hidden costs, and create redefined by more than financial profit?
greater transparency around areas like resource
consumption and waste generation.

Existing frameworks for reporting on

environmental, social and governance (ESG)

standards are an important starting point to
improve the visibility of corporate actions for
customers and other stakeholders. The Global 13% 11%
Reporting Initiative (GRI), for example, Disagree Neither
provides sustainability reporting guidelines, Agree
while the International Integrated Reporting
Council (IIRC) supports integrated reporting
for annual reports, and the Sustainability
Accounting Standards Board (SASB) is aimed
at sustainability content for regulatory financial
filings for US-listed companies.

Moving forward, companies will need to call

on a broader (and more detailed) set of tools
to measure indirect value.

Non-profit organisation B Lab, for example,

which certifies companies that use their
business as a force for good so-called B Corps
provides detailed and standardised impact
assessment indicators and a customised
platform for measuring those impacts.15 ... if you want to be Theres always that
Another approach is PwCs own Total Impact profitable consistently, challenge of determining
Measurement and Management (TIMM) model you need to provide your whether the metrics of
that integrates sustainability, economic and tax customers with value the success will be for today
indicators to evaluate an organisations total way they measure it ... or for the future. Looking
impact. This helps decision makers understand You need also to measure at the short-term and the
the net effect of their actions and assess the levels of success such as long-term theres always
the impact you have in been that tradeoff
trade-offs they have to make.16
the communities you between the business
serve, the impact you imperative and the social
Of course no one is saying it is easy to apply imperative. I believe that
have in the society you
robust methodologies to measure indirect they both have to strike
are part of and, above
value. No matter what tools are used, some all, you need to do this the right balance but the
things may not lend themselves to precise in a consistent and challenge is how to get
metrics. Yet without attempting to measure coherent way. that right balance. I also
more of these areas, theres simply no way believe strongly that the
Eduardo Stock da Cunha
that companies can effectively allocate finite search for responsible
CEO, Grupo Novo Banco,
resources in a cost-effective way to address Portugal private profit can
the things that their customers increasingly sometimes lead to the

creation of social good.
want them to address.
Larry Ettah
Group Managing Director,
UAC of Nigeria
of CEOs think business
should be doing
more to measure
environmental impact

PwC 29
Measuring and communicating success

Communicating impact

When we measure As the divergent world brings firms into
success at Wesfarmers, competitive markets that may have very
clearly we look at the different rights, expectations and relationships
financial performance: of CEOs are making with society, it makes sense that leaders want
our profits, our cash major changes to how to make sure that their organisation is very
flows, our return on they manage brand,
capital or equity, our clear on what they stand for, and their
marketing and
dividends we pay to distinctive advantage. We think this is why
shareholders. But at the purpose/values (59%) and business strategy
end of the day, the most (54%) are the top-two areas that CEOs want
important measure for These days, in this to better communicate (see Figure 15).
me is our reputation. transparent world that
Richard Goyder we live in, there is no way This set of priorities also makes sense in our
Managing Director, of working other than ever more transparent world. If, for example,
Wesfarmers, Australia with total transparency. information is withheld, either inadvertently
Guillermo Tagle or deliberately, theres no guarantee in todays
Chairman, Credicorp Capital,
digitally connected society that it wont come to
light and be broadcast globally. As Nigel Wilson,
CEO of UK-based financial services provider
Legal & General puts it, ... business just needs
to become much more transparent, much more
open and have a higher level of engagement.

The stakes are rising as more and more people

rely on the information companies put out to
buy products or accept job offers from them, or
do business with them. Businesses must have

30 19th Annual Global CEO Survey

the controls and processes in place to be able
to communicate dependable and consistent
information and messaging across a huge
range of areas, including marketing materials,
Tough questions to ask
contracts, annual reports and financial filings. about measuring and
Consistency, however, doesnt mean uniformity. communicating success
Opinions may be shaped by global trends but
they also reflect local sensibilities.
Have you worked out whats important to measure in your
The fact that nearly half (48%) of CEOs are organisation to reflect what youre in business to achieve?
making major changes to how they manage
brand, marketing and communications is
a testament to the increasing awareness
Is your reporting team at ease with navigating the complex
companies have of these challenges. There multiple standards around the world for wider non-financial
are of course limits to what can and should be reporting requirements?
communicated. But that line is shifting ever
outward at a time when more people are asking How are you measuring the impacts (both positive and
more detailed and informed questions of
negative) of organisational culture and behaviours?
companies than ever before. Companies must
find the right balance if they are to improve
transparency and ultimately trust. Measuring How is your organisation making sure that its measuring
and communicating risk and growth, as well as the right things in the right way in order to use data about
the companys values, purpose and strategy non-financial impacts in decision-making?
provides a useful balance.
How are you ensuring that your business is communicating
the information your customers and other stakeholders want?

Are there valuable intangibles that you havent found a way

to measure yet, which you think you should measure? And
are there things that you think shouldnt be measured at all?

PwC 31
Navigating complexity
to exceed expectations
Linking strategy to execution
... the first thing we need Technological progress, shifting demographics,
to do is to be clear with urban expansion, the rise of emerging markets
everybody about what and a changing planet are moving the world
we are trying to achieve
beyond globalisation to a multi-polar reality.
...What does good food
As this happens CEOs are learning that much
mean and what do we
want, and making sure of their success depends on sensing and
this is clear for everybody addressing the rapidly changing values and
... I think clarifying up expectations of their many stakeholders.
front exactly what we
mean when we want to Historically, companies have thrived when they
achieve these things is a not only address big societal problems, but also
critical first step around do so in a single-minded way. In the 19th
alignment. century Lever Bros. (the forerunner to Unilever)
Dirk Van de Put made tackling public hygiene in Victorian
CEO, McCain, Canada England its core focus and started a dynasty
through the introduction of Sunlight Soap.17
In the United States, Henry Ford saw the
democratisation of car ownership as
fundamental to raising the quality of living
for Americas growing middle class.

That kind of focus can help companies thrive

today. Making the organisational purpose
however that purpose may be defined the
guiding principle for everything the business does,
with visible leadership backing and direction, is
the necessary first step to effective execution.

32 19th Annual Global CEO Survey

PwCs Strategy& recently studied some of the Drawing on a companys purpose and strengths
worlds most successful companies, noting that ... there are core values to identify and develop a few core, cross-
a key part of their success was committing to an that are non-negotiable functional capabilities is key to success. Theres
identity and aligning their entire organisation for any enterprise. These evidence that companies that focus on a small set
core values of trust,
around that.18 As Ralph Hamers, CEO of of distinctive capabilities are twice as likely as
integrity, transparency,
Netherlands-based financial institution ING other companies to achieve higher than average
objectivity, fairness,
Group, explains, Bringing the purpose alive in these are completely non- profitability levels compared to competitors.19
a company ... means that you have to be able to negotiable.
explain that the purpose is real, its one to be CEOs, as weve seen, are caught between trying
Chitra Ramkrishna
followed ... its the starting point of everything Managing Director and CEO,
to resolve different, sometimes conflicting,
you do. National Stock Exchange of stakeholder demands and doing so while
India Limited (NSE), India
trying to satisfy their own business needs, in
In successful organisations theres a tighter particular keeping costs down. Being able to
integration of strategy through execution than It was one of the more effectively join up technology, innovation
we have ever seen in the past. What gets done foundations of our and people can provide companies with the
needs to be tightly linked to how it gets done strategy that we had put capabilities to do just that.
both for speed and differentiation. This in place three years ago
that we defined what we
approach enables a business to define a This involves gaining a deep understanding
are going to do, but, more
compelling and distinctive customer value of what customers care about and what their
importantly, what were
proposition thats aligned with its purpose, a not going to do so that we own company stands for across very different
business strategy focused on that proposition, could make sure we were markets and governments. It involves aligning
and an operating model and differentiated focusing our efforts on the entire organisation behind that commitment
capabilities that can effectively deliver on the the things where we could in order to execute effectively on customer
proposition. really add value and not strategies. And it involves using the full power of
being distracted across data and technology to measure and communicate
Chitra Ramkrishna, Managing Director and too many things in the how these strategies are being executed.
CEO of Indias National Stock Exchange (NSE) business. So, there is
recognises the value of organisational focus and constant trade-off to make Only by steering a direct course between
the best use of the hours,
alignment. ... our primary goal is to build an customer values and strategic execution can
the people and the money.
institution of excellence ... it is an enterprise companies hope to build trust that most
Susan Lloyd-Hurwitz
where the values are embedded, enshrined important of currencies for doing business
CEO and Managing Director,
in the people and in the processes. Mirvac Group, Australia in an uncertain age.

Businesses with an unwavering focus on what

they will or wont do can benefit not only from
lower costs but also a more flexible operating
model defined not by rigid rules and structures
but by principles and values. This will give
them the speed and agility needed to navigate
a volatile and disrupted environment.

PwC 33
Looking for more data?

Global currents, local

Figure A Top concerns by region challenges
Over-regulation is the top
Q: How concerned are you about the following potential economic, policy, social and business threats to your concern for CEOs in Western
organisations growth prospects? Europe (cited by 81%), while
their North American peers
are most worried about an
Middle East Africa CEE Latin America North America Western Europe Asia Pacific
increasing tax burden (84%).

Exchange rate volatility,

94% 87% 86%

meanwhile, is the focal point
85% 84% 81% 81% for business leaders in Africa
(87%), Latin America (85%)
and Asia Pacific (81%).

Geopolitical Exchange Geopolitical Exchange Increasing Over- Exchange Its geopolitical uncertainty,
uncertainty rate volatility uncertainty rate volatility tax burden regulation rate volatility / however, that not surprisingly
Availability keeps CEOs awake in the
of key skills Middle East (94%) and Central
Note: Respondents who answered somewhat concerned or extremely concerned
and Eastern Europe (86%).

Figure B Technological advances are seen as the Figure C A skilled workforce was the most important societal
global trend most likely to transform outcome cited most frequently by CEOs, followed by
wider expectations of business infrastructure both physical and digital

Q: Please rank the top three global trends which Q: Which three of the following outcomes do you think are most important
you believe will be most likely to transform wider to society today, in the country in which you are based?
stakeholder expectations of businesses within
your sector over the next five years.
A skilled, educated and
adaptable workforce
Technological advances
Adequate physical and
Demographic shifts digital infrastructure

Shift in global economic power

High levels of employment 35%
Resource scarcity and
climate change
A clearly understood, stable
Urbanisation 33%
and effective tax system

77% Good health and well-

being of the workforce

Workforce diversity
and inclusiveness
Greater income equality 22%
58% Reduced environmental
61% 19%

Safeguards around
usage of personal data

Note: Percentage of respondents ranking first, second or third

To explore the numbers further, see our Data Explorer at www.pwc.com/ceosurvey

34 19th Annual Global CEO Survey

Figure D Nearly half of CEOs expect to increase headcount over the Figure F Threat concern variances in sectors
next 12 months
Q: How concerned are you about the following potential
Q: Do you expect headcount at your company to increase, decrease or stay the same economic, policy, social and business threats to your
over the next 12 months? organisations growth prospects?

High Low

Over-regulation 94% 79% 67%

decrease in
Insurance Tech / Ind.
/ Business
headcount Services

(2015: 21%)
uncertainty 89% 74% 53%

increase in Energy Healthcare
(2015: 50%)
headcount will
remain the same
(2015: 28%)
Exchange rate
88% 73% 49%
and leisure Power and
utilities /

Availability of
key skills
83% 72% 52%
and media Mining

Figure E Similar to last year, the top two planned restructuring activities Social instability 80% 65% 54%
are cost-reduction initiatives and establishing new alliances Hospitality
and leisure
Q: Which, if any, of the following restructuring activities do you plan to initiate in the
coming 12 months?
Speed of
81% 61% 31%
68% Banking and Mining
Implement a cost- capital markets
reduction initiative 71%
Cyber threats
79% 61% 38%
49% Insurance Mining
Enter into a new
strategic alliance 51%
or joint venture
44% Shift in consumer
spending and 86% 60% 28%
behaviours Hospitality Mining
and leisure
Outsource a
business process 31%
or function
25% 2016 Interest rate rises
73% 58% 46%
2015 Metals
and media
27% 2014
Complete a
domestic M&A Lack of trust
in business
68% 55% 43%
23% Energy

24% Climate change

Complete a cross-
border M&A
and environmental
70% 50% 38%
Energy Pharma and
21% life sciences /
and media

Supply chain
69% 50% 33%
Insource a previously Pharma and
life sciences Power and
outsourced business 14% utilities
process or function
Stock market 62% 44% 25%
volatility Insurance
10% /Mining Transport
Sell majority interest and logistics
in a business or exit 13%
a significant market
Access to
affordable capital 76% 42% 30%

Mining Insurance /
9% manufactiring
End an existing
strategic alliance 8% Note: Respondents who answered somewhat or extremely concerned
or joint venture

PwC 35
Meet the CEOs we talked to

To better appreciate CEOs perspectives

we also conducted face-to-face interviews
with 33 CEOs from six continents over
the fourth quarter of 2015. Their
interviews are quoted in this report, and
extracts from their video interviews can
be found on our website at www.pwc.
Dr. Nuno Amado Brian Moynihan Denise Morrison
com/ceosurvey, where you can explore
CEO Chief Executive Officer President and Chief
responses by sector and location. Banco Comercial Bank of America Executive Officer
Portugus, S.A., Portugal Corporation, US Campbell Soup
Company, US

Fernando Gonzalez Li Huaizhen John Chambers Wilson Ferreira Jr. Guillermo Tagle
Olivieri President Executive Chairman of CEO Chairman
CEO China Minsheng the Board CPFL Energia, Brazil Credicorp Capital, Chile
CEMEX, Mexico Investment Corp., Ltd., Cisco Systems Inc., US

Jean-Bernard Lvy Michael Daniell Canan M. zsoy Luis Pagani Eduardo Stock da Cunha
CEO and Chairman Managing Director and CEO President and CEO Presidente CEO
EDF, France Fisher & Paykel General Electric Turkey Grupo Arcor, Argentina Grupo Novo Banco,
Healthcare Corporation Portugual
Ltd., New Zealand

David Bojanini Ralph Hamers Mikko Helander Dr. Nigel Wilson Ajay Banga
President CEO President and CEO CEO President and Chief
Grupo SURA, Colombia ING Group, Netherlands Kesko Corporation, Legal & General, UK Executive Officer
Finland MasterCard, US

36 19th Annual Global CEO Survey

Dirk Van de Put Susan Lloyd-Hurwitz Chitra Ramkrishna Andr Calantzopoulos Dr. Ahmed Heikal
CEO CEO and Managing Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Chairman and Founder
McCain, Canada Director CEO Philip Morris International Qalaa Holdings, Egypt
Mirvac Group, Australia National Stock Exchange Inc., Switzerland
of India Limited (NSE), India

Susanna Campbell Manuel Manrique Herman Gref Takeshi Niinami Johan Dennelind
CEO President and CEO CEO and Chairman of President and CEO CEO
Ratos AB, Sweden Sacyr, Spain the Executive Board Suntory, Japan TeliaSonera AB, Sweden
Sberbank, Russia

Richard Pennycook Larry Ettah Michael Mller Don Lam Richard Goyder
CEO Group Managing Director Director-General Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director
The Co-operative Group, UAC of Nigeria United Nations Office at Founding Partner Wesfarmers, Australia
UK Geneva (UNOG), VinaCapital, Vietnam

PwC 37
Research methodology and contacts

Weve conducted 1,409 interviews with CEOs in 83 countries. Our sample is selected based on the
percentage of the total Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of countries included in the survey, to ensure
CEOs views are fairly represented across all major countries and regions of the world. The interviews
were also spread across a wide range of industries. Further details, by region and industry, are
available on request. Twenty-six percent of the interviews were conducted by telephone, 60% online
and 14% by post. All quantitative interviews were conducted on a confidential basis.

Western Central
North Europe and Eastern
America 314 interviews Europe
(22%) 170 interviews
146 interviews
(10%) (12%)

East and
Africa Asia
134 interviews Pacic
Latin (10%)
476 interviews
America (34%)
169 interviews

The lower threshold for inclusion in the top Notes:

interviews completed
ten countries (by GDP) was 500 employees
or revenues of more than $50 million. The
threshold for inclusion in the next 20 countries
Not all figures add up to 100% due to
rounding of percentages and exclusion of
neither/nor and dont know responses
in 2015 across was companies with more than 100 employees
The base for figures is 1,409 (all
countries between
or revenues of more than $10 million.
30% of companies had revenues of
respondents) unless otherwise stated

$1 billion or more For further information on the survey content,

28 Sep and 8 Dec
38% of companies had revenues of over please contact:
$100 million up to $1 billion

Suzanne Snowden
28% of companies had revenues of up Director, Global Thought Leadership
to $100 million +44 20 7212 5481
members of the Global
60% of companies were privately owned suzanne.snowden@uk.pwc.com
PwC CEO Panel were
invited to participate 38% of companies were listed on at least
via the online survey, For media-related enquiries, please contact:
one stock exchange
contributing to the Mike Davies
total online responses. Director, Global Communications
+44 20 7804 2378

38 19th Annual Global CEO Survey

Acknowledgement and thanks

Editorial and writing Programme management and

Suzanne Snowden (Programme Director) face-to-face interviews
Poh-Khim Cheah Valentina Hovhannisyan
Angela Lang
Editorial board Penny Rich
Dalia Adawieh
Cristina Ampil Communications, online
Justine Brown and multimedia
Poh-Khim Cheah Magdalene Fong
Emily Church Ashley Hislop
Claire Clark Lesley Hornung
Mike Davies Charlotte Kuhn
Spencer Herbst Yuri Park
Deena Hooper
Maria Jennings Design and production
Nick Jones
The Design Group, PwC UK
Dominic Kelleher
Emily Litz
Research and data analysis
Robert MacKay
PwC UKs Research to Insight (r2i) unit,
Sarah McQuaid
located in Belfast, Northern Ireland
Rowena Mearley
Christopher Michaelson
Elizabeth Montgomery
Sanjukta Mukherjee
Jill Peacock
Oriana Pound
Rebecca Pratley
John Sviokla
Joanna Wells

Wed like to thank the following PwC experts for their insights
Bridget Atherton, Raymund Chao, Martha Corbett, Emma Cox, Paul Fitzsimon, Bharti Gupta
Ramola, Rob Gittings, John Hawksworth, Ian Hitchen, Stephanie Hyde, Leo Johnson, Per-Ola
Karlsson, Barret Kupelian, David Lancefield, Henrique Luz, Bob Moritz, Alan Morrison, Dennis
Nally, Gary Neilson, Yumiko Noda, Ian Powell, David Percival, Malcolm Preston, Donald Reed,
Daniel Schwarzmann, Norbert Schwieters, Richard Sexton, Robert Shelton, Blair Sheppard, Mark
Strom, John Sviokla, Robert Swaak, David Wijeratne, Norbert Winkeljohann, David Wu, Nora Wu

PwC 39
Notes and sources

1. PwC, 2015 APEC CEO Survey: CEO confidence in 10. Lloyds City Dinner, 30 September 2015
Asia Pacific shaken but strong, November 2015
11. PwC, Understanding the value and drivers
2. PwC, Total Retail 2015: Retailers and the Age of organisational trust, 2015
of Disruption, February 2015
12. PwC, 2015 Global Operations Survey
3. Unilever PLC, Unilever Sees Sustainability
13. Mitch Cohen and John Sviokla, The Self-Made
Supporting Growth, 5 May 2015
Billionaire Effect, December 2014 (Pub. Portfolio)
4. E. Freya Williams, Green Giants: How Smart
14. Paul Leinwand and Cesare Mainardi, Strategy
Companies Turn Sustainability into Billion-
That Works: How Winning Companies Close the
Dollar Businesses, August 2015 (pub. AMACOM)
Strategy-to-Execution Gap, January 2016 (pub.
5. Nielsen N.V., Consumer Goods Brands That Harvard Business Review Press)
Demonstrate Commitment to Sustainability
15. B Lab, About B Lab
Outperform Those That Dont, 12 October 2015
16. PwC, Valuing our total impact, 2015
6. Morgan Stanley, Sustainability Through the Eye
of the Investor, 27 February 2015 17. Unilever PLC, Our History
7. Global Industry Analysts, Inc., The Global Sports 18. Paul Leinwand and Cesare Mainardi, Strategy
Utility Vehicles (SUVs) Market, September 2015 That Works: How Winning Companies Close the
Strategy-to-Execution Gap, January 2016 (pub.
8. Business Insider UK, Millennials apparently
Harvard Business Review Press)
love Wal-Mart and employees are shocked,
16 June 2015 19. Ibid.
9. 2015 Edelman Trust Barometer

40 19th Annual Global CEO Survey

PwC 41
42 19th Annual Global CEO Survey
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