Deutsche Börse CEO Theodor Weimer defends pole position in CEO Image Ranking

  • The five CEOs with the best media image in the first quarter of 2020 maintain their positions also after the second quarter
  • Theodor Weimer (Deutsche Börse) has achieved the highest media visibility as a strong leader. Joachim Wenning (Munich Re) and Timotheus Höttges (Deutsche Telekom) come in second and third, respectively; they lead their companies through the coronavirus crisis
  • Newcomers in the ranking are Rolf Martin Schmitz (RWE) and Rolf Buch (Vonovia), who came in ninth and tenth

Deutsche Börse CEO Theodor Weimer continues to lead the UNICEPTA Image Ranking for Dax CEOs after the first half of the year. Media reports repeatedly stress his strong leadership, which allowed him to bring the ailing company back on track. In his tenure, Deutsche Börse has become “more flexible and innovative,” Börsen-Zeitung notes, adding that the extension of his contract until 2024 comes as a logical consequence. Also in the second quarter, many news outlets mention that Weimer‘s successful performance has qualified him for joining Deutsche Bank’s supervisory board.

Theodor Weimer has scored high in previous Dax CEO Image Rankings, leading the ranking in the first three quarters of 2019 already. Lacking the necessary level of media presence, however, he was not included in the overall ranking at the end of last year.

Munich Re: Safely through the coronavirus crisis

Regarding the second and third rank, there have been no changes in the first half of 2020. Joachim Wenning (Munich Re) again comes in second, with his good reputation being driven by his convincing management activities amid the coronavirus pandemic. Handelsblatt notes that Wenning was not deterred by the crisis, quoting him as saying that “even though the consequences of the coronavirus cannot be precisely predicted at the present, one thing is for sure: Our group is in a strong economic position”.

Timotheus Höttges (Deutsche Telekom) completes the top 3 of the ranking. According to NZZ, the convincing development of Telekom’s US subsidiary is the main reason for his good reputation. Handelsblatt praises Höttges’s leadership competence. In an interview with the business daily, Höttges says that he sees Telekom as the “plowhorse” of the telecommunications industry.

Two newcomers complete the ranking

Stephan Sturm (Fresenius) came in fourth, with manager magazine noting that he actively helped to ensure that ICUs had sufficient anaesthetics to treat the flood of patients amid the first critical phase of the COVID-19 pandemic. Johannes Teyssen (E.ON) is on the fifth rank, having scored with the acquisition and integration of Innogy. He furthermore advocated for retaining virtual AGMs beyond the pandemic, Börsen-Zeitung notes.

Meanwhile, Carsten Knobel (Henkel) improved his position in the CEO ranking, coming in sixth. Oliver Bäte (Allianz) came in seventh, up one rank, while Christian Klein (SAP) was down from rank seven to eight. Overall, the average tonality regarding all CEOs has decreased significantly amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Rolf Martin Schmitz (RWE) has joined the ranking for the first time, coming in at nineth position due to his company refocusing on renewable energy – a move that Handelsblatt – calls a “big hit”. Another newcomer is Rolf Buch (Vonovia) at tenth position. He benefits from the fact that his company has build up its own sustainability operations and has turned out to be rather crisis-proof. “Fortunately, our business is boring, stable and predictable,” Die Welt quotes him as saying.

UNICEPTA has compiled the CEO ranking based on 9,490 media reports, published from January to June 2020 by leading German media outlets, as well as from reputed international outlets such as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Economist, Financial Times and Neue Zürcher Zeitung. The ranking is based on UNICEPTA’s “Dax Benchmark”, with which the provider for Media & Data Intelligence continuously records the media presence of all Dax-listed companies and their CEOs as well as the tonality of media reporting.

In compiling this CEO ranking, UNICEPTA evaluated around 4,960 contributions that appeared in leading German media as well as the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and the Economist from January to March 2020. The ranking is based on results from the UNICEPTA „DAX Benchmark“, in which the provider for Media & Data Intelligence continuously records the media presence of all Dax-listed companies and their CEOs, as well as the tonality of media reporting.


UNICEPTA is the world’s leading provider of visionary AI-powered Media and Data Intelligence solutions, delivered with the human factor of Analytics, Insights, and Advisory services. We offer truly end-to-end Global Media Monitoring, compiled in real-time into scalable, immersive Corporate Brand Newsrooms, supported by Analytics & Insights advisors to help your team spot issues and opportunities immediately. As a result, we deliver Smart Insights to the world’s leading companies to drive faster, better decisions for Strong Performance. With over 450 colleagues from 44 nations across our offices in Berlin, Cologne, Krakow, London, Shanghai, Washington, and Zurich, UNICEPTA supports renowned cross-sector market leaders. Complete client orientation is our core ambition and passion.



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