CEO’s reputation is now a synonym for Corporate Reputation

After decades, of corporate CEOs maintaining a low or modest profile towards both internal corporate environment and external audiences in order to protect their personal reputation, current needs demand extroversion and adoption of clear stances related to customers, employees, the market and the society in which they activate. After all, it has become obvious around the globe that during periods when politicians and religious leaders fail to provide solutions, it’s time for love branded corporate leaders to take initiatives and motivate today towards a better tomorrow.

The era when corporate branding contained all consumers’ values -which was a multi-layered exercise, but it was related to an impersonal brand- comes to its ending, if the corporate branding does not include the values of its CEO’s personal reputation.

Clients, employees, shareholders, authorities, institutions, society, they all now pay attention to the name of the leader. They are looking for the reputation of the person who will lead the company and their interests. They are looking at his/her past, his/her path, his/her successes and failures, the values he/she stands for, in order to evaluate and predict the future of the company they are interested in, each one of them from a different point of view. 

A CEO’s reputation is what is being said when he/she is not present. I wonder, how many have asked themselves and have looked into their real reputation? That is, because this reputation is the one that will significantly determine the trust of interested parties and, therefore any expected success in the future. Are we going to buy from that company where this X person is CEO? Are we going to work together? Are we going to approve a loan? Do we know him? Do we know her? What does Google tell us about him/her? What does ChatGPT tell us? What do other opinion makers tell us? What do his/her employees, other members of the board, media, social networks, etc. tell us?

Nowadays, and as time goes by and Generations Z and A will be the ones that will massively determine consumption, CEOs’ reputation will be of high or lower yield value for the company he/she manages. The importance of CEOs stance is even more critical when he/she also happens to be the business-owner. Because in this case, the alternative to something less than an excellent reputation is to hire a professional CEO with an excellent reputation. But, at the end of the day, how many CEOs of excellent reputation do exist and have the ability to successfully lead the present day and the future? Are they enough? And this is where a huge opportunity lies for young executives.

Young executives, aspiring to become CEOs, have to invest in their personal leadership branding, in a structured way (obviously, current CEOs should do the same). This way, they will be given earlier than expected the opportunity for a leading role, due to the lack of a large number of high-ranking executives with an excellent international reputation. The current CEOs’ crisis and their weakness to prioritize stances that the times require, because of their past or because of personal inhibitions, is the opportunity of incubating young people with knowledge, experience, skills, talent and will, to take over and act for their best future; a future that they will shape, with an ultimate goal of prosperity for themselves and for the society they live in.