FAQ: CEO RepTrak

What is CEO RepTrak?

CEO RepTrak® is a study that Reputation Institute conducts annually to measure the reputation of global CEOs. The study is done among the most highly-regarded and familiar global companies across the 15 largest economies. CEO RepTrak assesses CEO reputations in comparison to their peers, as well as the relationship between a CEO's personal reputation and the reputation of his or her company.

Who responds and rates the CEOs?

Respondents are informed members of the general public from the 15 largest global economies. To be able to participate in the study, respondents must pass the following screenings:

- Respondents must be "somewhat" to "very" familiar with the CEO's company.

- Respondents must have an informed opinion regarding the state of the company's reputation.

- Respondents must be "somewhat" or "very" familiar with the CEO.

- Respondents must have a well-informed opinion of the CEO's leadership credentials.

How do you measure CEO reputation? How does this compare to the measurement of company reputation using the standard RepTrak methodology?

Uniquely embedded within the Global RepTrak study is an area of focus on CEOs. The CEO RepTrak framework measures the CEO reputation of the companies included in the Global RepTrak study.

CEO reputation is evaluated using a unique model that includes measures of leadership, responsibility, management, and influence. The study also aligns a CEO's reputation with the reputation of their respective company. The data is also compared with competitor benchmarks.

CEO rep


How many CEOs were measured in this year's study?

143 CEOs were measured. 104 of these met the global familiarity threshold of above or equal to 10%, and were, therefore, considered in the ranking.

CEO reptrak 10

What matters most in CEO reputation management?

Responsibility—acting responsibly, behaving ethically and caring about social causes—is the most important driver of CEO reputation. This measure has also increased in importance since last year. CEO responsibility can be related, conceptually, to Corporate Responsibility (CR). A company's CR score is determined by its Governance, Citizenship, and Workplace.

Why is reputation important for a CEO? What impact can a CEO's reputation have on a company?

CEO reputation has a positive relationship with corporate reputation—it's a balancing act between CEO and company. In a time of transformation and CEO activism, CEOs can't stay behind the scenes. They also can't drive attention away from their company's strengths; the CEO must exemplify and be an extension of the corporate values.

Which drivers of corporate reputation does a CEO's reputation affect?

CEO reputation has the strongest relationship and impact on a company's Governance score. It has the weakest statistical relationship with Financial Performance scores.

How can CEOs protect against reputational damage?

Leadership must understand the relationship of the CEO and a company's corporate reputation. By knowing which drivers of reputation matter the most, executives can act on them and deliver results that boost corporate and CEO reputation. According to our 2019 CEO RepTrak, CEO activism is a crucial area for executives to focus on in order to improve reputation. We found one driver of reputation to be most impactful on a CEO's reputation score. That dimension is Responsibility. Or, as defined in the model, acting responsibly, behaving ethically, and caring about social issues.

Access more data & insights from the 2019 CEO RepTrak study.


Daniel Friedman
Reputation Institute

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