The Invisible CEO
May 10, 2017
Study finds that 23% of employees don't know the chief executive's name, and 32% would struggle to pick him or her out of a lineup.
Would you believe about a quarter of your employees don’t know the CEO? Yes, a recent survey from APRise Mobile found that 23% of employees working for a firm of 500 or more were unsure of their CEO’s name, and 32% weren’t confident they would recognize the chief on sight.
“This floored me,” writes longtime internal communication guru Shel Holtz, who is speaking at the 2017 PSA World Conference in October. “I wasn’t comforted when I learned that most of those who didn’t know their CEO worked somewhere other than headquarters and were more likely to be 25 or younger, just getting started in their careers. I would be willing to bet that, if asked, anyone in any branch of the military in 1944—regardless of location, rank, age, or years of service—knew Dwight Eisenhower was their Supreme Allied Commander. Yet this survey data suggests 111,000 Target employees couldn’t identify CEO Brian Cornell from his mug shot; 24,000 Procter and Gamble employees would stutter and shrug when asked who runs their company. (Answer: David S. Taylor.)”