Press Information


good marks for courageous CEOs

-  Kasper Rorsted (Adidas) takes over the top position; Rolf Buch (Vonovia) climbs to the second place; Thomas Ebeling (ProSiebenSat.1) enters the ranking on the third place

-  Committed growth targets, inventive strategies and the consequent restructuring of companies are in the focus of the coverage.

Kasper Rorsted stays impressive, also at Adidas: Since his switch to the CEO position at the sporting goods manufacturer, German media report very positively on the Danish executive. Rorsted rose two places in the first quarter of 2017, compared to the UNICEPTA CEO ranking for the full year 2016, in which he ranked third. He thus leads the image ranking of German CEOs.  

Rorsted is perceived as a manager with long-term thinking who does not aim at short-term effects. Seeing as he already led Henkel onto a path of success, the media trust him to also put ambitious goals into practice in Herzogenaurach. With his strategy to simplify business processes and advance the focus on strong branded products, he is a role model for other CEOs, according to Handelsblatt. Rorstedt is seen as a determined, but at the same time diplomatic person. A “successful balancing act,“ comments Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung approvingly.

On place two follows Rolf Buch, who has also improved his ranking. When his contract was extended at the beginning of March, the CEO of the largest German real estate company received a lot of praise from the supervisory board. He set the right course for a successful future, the supervisory board said. Many of the relevant media have a similar opinion. Compared to the annual 2016 UNICEPTA CEO ranking, Buch climbed two places. The coverage does not only appreciate Buch’s positive financial achievements. He also wants to satisfy the tenants, Welt am Sonntag, for example, acclaims him.

ProSiebenSat.1 CEO Thomas Ebeling has newly entered the ranking. The third-placed get a lot of approval for the fast growth the media company saw last year. In particular, Ebeling’s strategy to offset the slowing growth in the TV business with an expansion in the digital field, has created a positive response. Wirtschaftswoche writes that nobody sets a comparable pace in terms of digitalization.

In addition to Stephan Sturm from Fresenius and Stefan Oschmann from Merck, Ebeling is among the CEOs who in the first quarter attracted media attention, in particular, in the course of the coverage on the annual financial statements. They do not appear in the full-year 2016 ranking, however, seeing as they were too rarely visible on an annual average. “Continuity in business should be accompanied by continuity in communications,” says Claas Sandrock, managing partner at UNICEPTA. “A steady dialogue strengthens the positive effect in good times and creates a credibility buffer for times in which things do not go that well economically. What is more, it is often too late to create trust and stable relationships in a real crisis situation.”

With future-oriented topics, Elmar Degenhart has also for the first time entered the top 10 of the CEOs with the highest image ranking. In particular his commitment to the change of the car industry impressed the journalists. Plans to complement the core business with services around mobility are “more than merely playing around“, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung writes.

Siemens CEO Joe Kaeser also proves that leadership skills and a courageous reorganization of a company are popular. Thanks to the new record prices of the Siemens share, he defends his strong position among CEOs in Germany and has risen to place 5 (2016: place 9). The significant image improvement is not only due to his plans to list the technology company’s health care technology division Healthineers and the wind power activities on the stock market. His confident appearance alongside German chancellor Angela Merkel during her visit of US president Donald Trump underlined the company leader’s image.  

UNICEPTA has analyzed nearly 9,000 articles, published from January to the end of March 2017 in leading German media, for the CEO ranking. The ranking is based on results of the UNICEPTA „DAX-Benchmark”. With the DAX-Benchmark, the monitoring, analysis and communication service company continuously monitors the media presence of all DAX companies and their CEOs as well as the tonality of the coverage. 


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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