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The CEO Echo | October 2021 Rankings | Categories: Communication, Social, Responsibility & Investor Excellence

Perri Robinson

Nov 4, 2021

As critical figureheads, Chief Executive Officers play a key role in how corporations are perceived by the public, and so it's vital that organizations keep their fingers on the pulse of CEO-focused media.

In collaboration with .companion, a data consultancy and KPI expert, Meltwater presents the 2021 CEO Echo; a monthly media intelligence analysis of CEOs heading up some of the world's largest brands. The ranking leverages Meltwater's media intelligence capabilities and automated analysis by the .companion bot to offer readers highlights and benchmarks across the following areas:

  1. Total CEO Digital Footprint
  2. CEO Communication Excellence
  3. CEO Social Excellence
  4. CEO Responsibility Excellence
  5. CEO Investor Excellence


October 2021 CEO Echo rankings

Total Digital Footprint

Communication Excellence

Social Excellence

Responsibility Excellence

Investor Excellence

Source Information

October 2021 CEO Echo rankings

Last month, the .companion CEO metrics bot found 39% more CEO mentions than the average of the previous months. Overall, 49% of mentions captured by the CEO Echo were generated by editorial online content, while social media generated 51%. In October, CEO Echo content saw engagement jump by 131%. 40% of all CEO mentions were related to financial news, meaning they simply referred to company figures that are often required to be disclosed by law. In contrast, the context of 60% of mentions was linked to corporate agendas. Overall, the tonality of mentions was more positive than negative.

Total Digital Footprint

Herbert Diess, Volkswagen CEO dominates with 10% CEO Echo coverage

What role does a CEO play in a company's overall corporate messaging, whether voluntary or involuntary? The CEO Digital Footprint aims to answer this question.

In October, Herbert Diess, CEO of Volkswagen received the highest amount of media coverage. His share of voice totaled 9.5%, the largest footprint of all top board members. In second place was Pat Gelsinger, CEO of Intel with 7.5%, followed by Ben van Beurden, CEO of Royal Dutch Shell who took the third spot with 6.5% share of all mentions. 71% of conversations around Diess' echo were not related to company financials and thus were above average for agenda-driving topics and content. 39% of Volkswagen's CEO echo came from editorial media and 61% from social media. Content that mentioned Diess generated 43 interactions (clicks, shares, likes) per mention. This shows that audiences are highly engaged and made Diess the 44th most engaged CEO in the ranking. In total, mentions for Herbert Diess were more often negative than positive, and we can assume this had a corresponding impact on his overall reputation.

Highlights from The CEO Echo | October 2021 Rankings | Category: Digital footprint

Communication Excellence

Hermes International's CEO, Axel Dumas takes the number 1 spot

Two common goals widely shared by media teams are communicating key messages and building a favorable reputation, both of which rely heavily on editorial mentions. The Communication Excellence ranking analyses and aggregates media volume (removing financial report listings).

Axel Dumas, CEO of Hermes International ranked first for Communication Excellence in October. Outside of the paywall, 67% of his digital echo discussed the CEO in stories beyond financial figures. Stories generated 404 engagements per mention, signifying readers are highly interested. Furthermore, coverage was more positive than negative. As a result, the response to Hermes International's CEO received 8.2 points. Meanwhile, Simon Roberts, CEO of Sainsbury's came in second place with a score of 3.3, and Gonzalo Gortazar, CEO of Caixa Bank took third place with a Communication Excellence score of 2.7 points.

Highlights from The CEO Echo | October 2021 Rankings | Category: Communication Excellence

Social Excellence

Fani Titi, Investec's CEO wins first place

These days, simply having a social media profile is not enough. If you want to have an impact on opinion leaders outside of editorial offices or on consumers and digital elites who are not easily accessible through the mass media, you have to be mentioned frequently on social media. The Social Excellence Index answers whether a company's attempts at this have been successful.

Last month, Fani Titi, CEO of Investec topped the ranking with a Social Excellence score of 4.7 points. 87% of the conversation came from social media and his engagement averaged 10 interactions per mention. Moreover, the sentiment of mentions was 84% positive, meaning Titi was well ahead of runners-up Ben van Beurden, CEO of Royal Dutch Shell who obtained 2.9 points, and Jeff Shell, CEO of NBC Universal who placed third with 2.9 points.

Highlights from The CEO Echo | October 2021 Rankings | Category: Social Excellence

Responsibility Excellence

Gordon Riske, CEO of Kion received the highest number of mentions surrounding social responsibility

The .companion metrics bot also determines whether CEOs appear in the digital media as leaders in the context of the UN's sustainable development goals, e.g. in the context of social responsibility or climate and environmental protection. Our Responsibility Index shows how well this has been achieved. For this index, the metrics bot only analyses mentions related to sustainability-related topics.

In October, Gordon Riske, CEO of Kion saluted us from first place in the responsibility ranking, with 67% of Kion CEO's mentions related to social responsibility topics. His engagement rate was 165, which can be considered highly engaged. The tonality of media conversations was significantly more positive than negative. Overall, Riske's Responsibility Index came to 3.6 points. Oliver Zipse, CEO of BMW followed in second place with 3.4 points, and Patrice Caine, CEO of Thales in third place with 3.3 points.

Highlights from The CEO Echo | October 2021 Rankings | Category: Responsibility Excellence

Investor Excellence

Fleetwood Grobler, CEO of Sasol takes the number 1 spot for the financial echo

CEO mentions in the context of balance sheet figures offer little scope for setting content-related agendas but are crucial for building investor confidence. In this environment, the metrics bot determines which CEOs were mentioned from a financial standpoint, forming an index for investor communication.

In October, the .companion metrics bot identified Sasol's CEO, Fleetwood Grobler as the top communicator for investors after he achieved 3.9 points. 98% of his mentions were related to the financial environment, which is 1.8 times this month's average. His community is highly interested, indicated by an engagement rate of 208.7 and he experienced significantly more positive than negative comments. He is followed in second and third place by Olivier Andrès, CEO of Safran (with 3.1 points), and Lars Brzoska, CEO ofJungheinrich (3.1 points).

Highlights from The CEO Echo | October 2021 Rankings | Category: Investor Excellence

Source Information

  • Media conversations were tracked and analyzed globally with the help of the market-leading monitoring tool, Meltwater
  • All content is in German and/or English and publicly accessible across websites, forums, and social media
  • The text and content of the CEO Echo are generated automatically by the .companion metrics bot
  • All Excellence index values are based on three criteria:
    1. How often the respective CEO is mentioned in a certain context
    2. How many of those mentions were positive
    3. How many engagements those posts and articles received
  • While it is necessary to have an above-average share of mentions in the respective category it's still possible to score high on a certain index despite one of the sub-criteria receiving results that are somewhat sub-par


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