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Data Points: CEO reputation.

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For better or worse, chief executives play a huge role in shaping a company's reputation--often, a larger role than product quality, service, or the actions of thousands of lower-ranking employees. That's the conclusion of a survey conducted by Burson-Marsteller, a public relations firm that polled 2,500 "influential stakeholders" of major U.S. corporations. The survey found that about 40% of a company's reputation "can be attributed to the CEO," especially in such areas as customer focus, believability, and company direction. The survey also found that the importance of the CEO's reputation depends in part on the perspective of individual audiences: Executive recruiters and the media place more emphasis on the CEO's image-setting role, while government observers, other CEOs, and financial analysts tend to downplay the CEO in relation to other factors that affect a company's image.

Burson-Marsteller, "Maximizing CEO Reputation," 230 Park Ave. South, New York, N.Y. 10003; 212/614-5181. Web: www.burson-marsteller.com.
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Title Annotation:survey by Burson-Marsteller
Publication:Soft-Letter
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:May 31, 1999
Words:158
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