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Media appreciate CEOs who keep their promises

–  Kasper Rorsted (Adidas) defends his top position; Stephan Sturm (Fresenius) keeps second place, Joe Kaeser (Siemens) jumps from 5th to 3rd rank

–  Strategy implementation, business figures and restructuring efforts are at the center of media coverage.


Adidas-CEO Kasper Rorsted defended his top position in the CEO Image Ranking in the third quarter of 2017. The media praised the positive business figures in particular: Adidas achieved surprisingly high growth rates in sales and profits, as Rorsted drove momentum. The strategic measures of the Danish manager showed effect earlier than expected, with Adidas having outpaced rivals such as Nike and Puma as a result, as Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung writes. Rorsted is considered a superstar among managers, Manager Magazin emphasizes. The Adidas CEO wins the media's favor with a high degree of credibility since he follows up his ambitious announcements with actions. According to Claas Sandrock, this is a consistent pattern: "It holds for all managers in the ranking that they earn praise by keeping their promises and meeting forecasts," the Unicepta managing partner says.

This is also true for Stephan Sturm, who managed to defend his second rank. The Fresenius CEO was right when he announced that business would pick up in 2017, writes Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, adding that Sturm leads the company more like an investment company that conducts takeovers with relative ease and routine.

Apart from Joe Kaeser (Siemens), Carsten Spohr (Lufthansa) also managed to increase his rank substantially. Kaeser who climbed from 5th to 3rd rank, is apparently seen as irreplaceable at Siemens, writes Die Welt. The CEO not only guarantees success, but also ensures stability. Kaeser is following through on his announcement that he plans to turn Siemens into a fleet, notes Börsen-Zeitung.

Lufthansa CEO Carsten Spohr performed the highest jump in the ranking from 9th to 5th place. Under Spohr, Lufthansa managed to substantially improve the structure of its balance sheet and to generate more revenues in the operative business, writes Handelsblatt. He is now reaping the fruit from his labor. Spohr successfully won shareholders' favor with a record profit and the company's stocks are regarded as some of the strongest on the Dax, concludes Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.

For the CEO Ranking, UNICEPTA analyzed close to 26,000 articles published between January and late September 2017 in German opinion-leading media 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 that continuously tracks the media presence of all DAX companies, their CEOs as well as the tonality of the media 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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