Rorsted had the best image in 2017

CEOs with a clear strategy and consistent actions score among journalists

-  Kasper Rorsted (Adidas) had the best media image in 2017 among all DAX30 CEOs, ahead of Stephan Sturm (Fresenius) and Reinhard Ploss (Infineon)

-  Future-oriented strategies, successful restructurings and acquisitions are the focus topics of media reports; credible managers receive praise

Kasper Rosted had the best media image among all DAX30 CEOs in 2017. The Dane achieved a start-finish-victory this year: since the first quarter, Rorsted was covered in a strongly positive way and thus ranked first in terms of reputation.

The Adidas CEO pushed the tempo at his company but is yet capable of winning the employees for his cause, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung writes, adding that this leads to "unimagined revenue and profit growth rates". Journalists particularly praised his management style – according to manager magazin, Rorsted is considered a superstar "with his mix of high standards, clear communication and a healthy amount of toughness". Overall, Rorsted is perceived of as a credible manager that backs up his words with corresponding actions and someone who has made sure that Adidas has a promising outlook for the future.

Stephan Sturm (Fresenius) finished the yearly ranking on the second spot. In their reports, journalists focus on his consistent and successful acquisition strategy. After taking office in July of last year, Sturm continued the high pace set by his predecessor Ulf Schneider, who moved on to Nestlé, and at the same time managed to arrange the two largest takeovers in the company's history, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung highlights. Handelsblatt, meanwhile, cites Sturm, who has successfully managed the integration of every single takeover, as the reason for the positive revenue and profit development at Fresenius.

"It is becoming clear that those managers who follow a clear corporate strategy and then restructure and develop their companies along those lines are doing particularly well in the ranking," Claas Sandrock, Managing Partner at UNICEPTA, comments. "If CEOs are also able to clearly communicate their line to all stakeholders, they become very credible, which in turn is reflected in the media coverage."

This also applies to Reinhard Ploss (Infineon), who accomplished a tremendous final spurt and rose from rank 11 in the third quarter to the third spot in the final ranking. In the five years since assuming responsibilities as CEO at Infineon, he has made many good decisions and positioned the company in a way that will allow it to benefit from the upcoming electromobility boom, WirtschaftsWoche comments. Handelsblatt praises Ploss for having turned the former bankruptcy candidate into a profitable group that is seeing strong growth.

For its CEO-Ranking, UNICEPTA analyzed some 32,600 reports published between January and mid-December 2017 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
mobile  0173 7092102
email    wolf.ruehl@unicepta.com
web      www.unicepta.com