Press Information

Rorsted remains uncontested in first place trailed by Weimer and McDermott


CEO Ranking: Positive business figures considerably boost manager image

-  Kasper Rorsted (Adidas) heads the CEO Image Ranking again, Theodor Weimer (Deutsche Börse) improves his position to rank two, followed by Bill McDermott (SAP).

-  Martin Brudermüller (BASF) and Hans Van Bylen (Henkel) each manage to climb by five spots.

Kasper Rorsted (Adidas) continues his streak of success in the media in the third quarter of 2018 and defends his top position in UNICEPTA’s Image Ranking. Rorsted, whose image is linked to the positive business performance of his company, “has once again delivered convincing quarterly figures” and “has never disappointed investors”, writes Handelsblatt. Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung recognizes that “two years after taking office, Rorsted inspires trust in his ability to successfully handle things that may go wrong.”

Theodor Weimer (Deutsche Börse) managed to increase his standing from third to second place by building on his media success, with coverage painting the image of a competent corporate leader. Handelsblatt praises the fact that “Deutsche Börse shares gained a good 20% since Weimer took office.” The manager prompted attention with his idea for reform to “consider the prospect to broaden the scope of the Dax at some point.”

Bill McDermott (SAP) takes third place. Neue Zürcher Zeitung describes the CEO as a “the textbook example of a sales professional.” McDermott managed to “work his way from a photocopier salesman […] to the top of the company”. Süddeutsche Zeitung echoes the sentiment, writing that McDermott, a “true professional” vigorously promotes the products of his software company. Moreover, the raised revenue forecast has a positive effect on his CEO image.

While Carsten Spohr (Lufthansa) defends his fourth place, Martin Brudermüller (BASF) takes a considerable step up to the fifth spot. Both CEOs have taken a stance on political issues and are being rewarded for their commitment by the media. Die Welt notes that Carsten Spohr “and other top managers have joined the warning calls by business representatives following the xenophobic protests in Chemnitz two weeks ago”.

Süddeutsche Zeitung cautions that “corporate leaders do not seem to care” about Europe’s stability, noting, however that Martin Brudermüller is “one of the exceptions”. The BASF CEO has identified the current wave of populism as a threat to society and prosperity.

Guido Kerkhoff (thyssenkrupp) celebrated a strong debut in eighth place. Handelsblatt portrays him as a competent manager who seeks compromises and solutions. Kerkhoff, who Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung believes managed to seize the opportunity to establish himself as a hands-on strategist, is regarded as a competent leader.

For its CEO-Ranking, UNICEPTA analyzed some 24,170 reports published between January and September 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. Headquartered in Cologne (Germany) and with offices in Krakow (Poland), Shanghai (China), Washington DC (USA), and Zurich (Switzerland) UNICEPTA is globally present.



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