Herbert Diess (Volkswagen) wins CEO Impact Ranking for the first time

  • For the first time, UNICEPTA’s new CEO Impact Ranking was published in Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung. The impact on media discussions is measured based on the achieved reach weighted according to various factors.
  • Herbert Diess placed himself in international publications with a wide coverage. His evaluation of the consequences of the war in Ukraine were picked up repeatedly. Christian Sewing (Deutsche Bank) came in second, ahead of Ola Källenius (Mercedes-Benz).
  • Airbus and BMW presented record results. This is also reflected in the media presence and the tonality of the companies’ CEOs Guillaume Faury and Oliver Zipse.

In the first quarter of 2022, Herbert Diess, CEO of Volkswagen, wins the new Dax40 CEO Impact Ranking, which was for the first time published in Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung. The evaluation is based on data provided by UNICEPTA. The Media & Marketing Intelligence company used the expansion of the Dax from 30 to 40 companies in September 2021 to completely revise its internal Dax Benchmark, considerably expanding and internationalizing the underlying media panel to now 116 print and online sources, with 32 coming from Germany. The analysis for the first time also incorporates Twitter data.

In order to make a CEO’s actual impact on media discussion measurable, analytics specialists from UNICEPTA developed a new index score. It is based on a weighted coverage taking into account the factors probability of reception, focus and tonality. Every article and tweet passes through the individual weighting steps in a multi-level process. Based on this total reach thus computed and weighted, every CEO is assigned an index score. In principle, this value is unlimited in both positive and negative terms.


Herbert Diess and Christian Sewing assess consequences of Russian sanctions

VW CEO Herbert Diess was able to position himself in various opinion-leading media in the first quarter of 2022. TheNew York Times, TheWall Street Journal and TheSun were only some of the publications quoting his contextualization of the economic consequences of the war in Ukraine. Further topics present in the media included VW’s investments in autonomous driving and the company’s plans to participate in Formula 1. A CO2-neutral Formula 1 is “much more exciting and fun, it provides more racing and a much better battle of technologies than Formula E, which offers a couple of laps around city centers in play mode,” Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung quotes Diess as saying.

Deutsche Bank CEO Christian Sewing’s expertise concerning the Ukraine crisis was sought after as well. In an interview with Bild, the runner-up talked about price increases that can be expected as a result of the sanctions against Russia. Furthermore, he shone with the best results for Deutsche Bank in ten years. “For the first time since 2014, profit has exceeded EUR 1 billion again,” he told Die Welt. On its Twitter account, the Economist also linked the excellent results to Sewing’s management. Correspondingly, the amount of positive coverage in wide-reaching publications was quite high.

The podium is completed by Ola Källenius, CEO of Mercedes-Benz Group. “The corporation exceeds all expectations,“ writes FAZ. The financial results are pointing the right way: “The Mercedes CEO sursprised with good results despite chip shortages,“ writes Der Spiegel. Moreover, Källenius, who is seen as one of the most present CEOs of a Dax-listed company, scored with a new electric concept model. “It took us only one and a half years to build one of the most efficient Mercedes of all times,” Die Welt quotes him as saying. Furthermore, changing the name of former Daimler AG to Mercedes-Benz Group AG at the beginning of February made for an icreased media presence. In FAZ, Källenius argues that abroad, Daimler had always been known under the Mercedes name.


Record results at Airbus and BMW

Airbus CEO Guillaume Faury ranks fourth. “Airbus takes off – Boeing on the ground,” was a headline in Die Welt referring to the highest profit in the company’s history. “Demand is very high, higher than we expected last year,“ Faury said. Position number five is taken by the third automotive CEO in the Dax. BMW CEO Oliver Zipse was also able to present record results. “The coming week will be a good one for BMW CEO Oliver Zipse and his colleagues,“ wrote Welt am Sonntag shortly before the detailed sales figures for 2021 were presented. In addition, the strong expansion of BMW’s business in China is linked to Zipse.

These are the rest of the standings in the top 10 ranking: Markus Krebber (RWE, sixth place), Rolf Buch (Vonovia, seventh place), Infineon CEO Reinhard Ploss, who left his post at the end of March (eighth place), Christian Klein (SAP, ninth place) und Bjørn Gulden (Puma, tenth place).


For the new CEO ranking, UNICEPTA evaluated about 11,100 articles from German and international print and online sources as well as Twitter, published or posted from January through March 2022. The ranking is based on results from UNICEPTA’s “Dax Benchmark”, with which the provider of Media & Marketing Intelligence continuously records the media presence of all Dax-listed companies and their CEOs as well as probability of reception, focus and of media coverage.


UNICEPTA is one of the leading providers of visionary, AI-powered media and marketing intelligence solutions, delivered with a human factor of analytics, insights, and advisory services.​ ​Our media and audience tracking provides you with the insights you need for more personalized and engaging customer and company interactions.​ Connecting media, digital & social, marketing and business analytics, our integrated digital platforms compile real-time information flows into reports, live dashboards and immersive corporate and brand newsrooms, supported by Analytics & Insights advisors to help your team spot issues and opportunities immediately. As a result, we deliver smart insights 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.



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