Press Information

Rorsted is CEO with best image, Spohr and Weimer follow

Media praise economically successful CEOs who pursue a clear strategy    

-  Kasper Rorsted (Adidas) defends the top position; Carsten Spohr (Deutsche Lufthansa) takes second place; Theodor Weimer (Deutsche Börse) makes his debut in third place

-  Strong company figures as a result of the CEOs' strategic clarity score among journalists

Kasper Rorsted (Adidas) has made a successful media start to 2018 and once again defended its top position in UNICEPTA’s image ranking in the first quarter. The CEO convinces journalists above all with strong results: Continued growth in sales and profits, coupled with the increase in the operating margin last year, are driving the CEO's media image positively. Adidas has so much money that Rorsted is now buying back its own shares for three billion euros, the Focus observes. Rorsted, the "currently most successful top manager in Germany" according to Manager Magazin, has a casual attitude and adapts to his tasks like no other. According to the Süddeutsche Zeitung, the Dane recognizes weak points in the company and reacts with suitable strategic plans.

Carsten Spohr, CEO of Lufthansa, has improved to second place compared to the 2017 annual ranking (previous position: 5). The journalists emphasize Lufthansa's overall good condition. The Börsen-Zeitung states that "Spohr seemed to succeed in almost everything in 2017": share price increased, record results achieved, pilots' strikes ended. In view of these successes, the Handelsblatt writes that the extension of Spohr's contract is "recognition for the hard work".

Theodor Weimer, CEO of Deutsche Börse since the beginning of January, takes third place in his debut ranking. His inauguration is a strong driver of reporting. In addition to initial strategic decisions, his person is at the forefront. Weimer, who according to Börsen-Zeitung is very ambitious and does not allow himself a long acclimatization period, was already reshaping the group according to his ideas. The third-place winner also receives a lot of recognition for the way in which he has taken office. He embodies the desired image change of Deutsche Börse with every fiber of his body and distinguishes himself from his predecessors with his almost buddy-like tone, praises the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.

Fourth and fifth place went to Elmar Degenhart (Continental) and Bill McDermott (SAP). Under Degenhart, Continental has evolved from a "tire shop" to a "high-tech shop", the Manager Magazin praises. In recent years, sales and profits have increased repeatedly, and the Handelsblatt even speaks of one of the most spectacular turnarounds in German company history.
Bill McDermott, who is described by WirtschaftsWoche as notoriously optimistic, caused a sensation with the announcement of "a tripling" of the stock market value. The journalists paint the picture of a hungry, successful manager under whom SAP has developed into a future-oriented player.

For its CEO-Ranking, UNICEPTA analyzed some 8,200 reports published between January and March 2018 by leading German media outlets as well as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and The Economist. The ranking is based on the results of the UNICEPTA "DAX-Benchmark". With this tool, the Smart Media Intelligence provider continually observes the media presence of all Dax-listed groups and their CEOs as well as the tonality of the reporting. 


UNICEPTA Medienanalyse GmbH is a leading global provider for smart media intelligence in innovations/digital consulting, media monitoring, media analysis and research/consulting. Around 700 experts continuously structure the news flow – both around the clock and around the world.  UNICEPTA compiles and presents highly relevant information from print and online media, TV, radio and social-media sources. This day-to-day work serves as a platform for the company to provide analysis and research-based advice for issues related to strategic communication.


Wolf-Dieter Rühl
UNICEPTA Medienanalyse GmbH
Head of Research Services
Salierring 47-53
50677 Köln

phone  0221 9902 110
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email    wolf.ruehl@unicepta.com
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