Johannes Teyssen says goodbye to E.ON with best image of all DAX 30 CEOs

  • Outgoing CEOs Johannes Teyssen (E.ON) and Rolf Martin Schmitz (RWE), ranked first and second,  are seen off by the media with much praised.
  • Christian Klein (SAP) ranks third in the image ranking, followed by Kaper Rorsted (Adidas). New strategies prove to be image drivers.  
  • New Siemens CEO Roland Busch joins the top ten.

A successful farewell in the media: Two managers top UNICEPTA's CEO-Image-Ranking of DAX 30 CEOs, whose departure from their posts after Q1 was accompanied by much praise from the media. Johannes Teyssen, who had headed Germany's largest energy company E.ON for over ten years, is ranked first. Media outlets praise him for having handed over a "well-ordered house" to his successor Leonhard Birnbaum. Handelsblatt points out: "Operating profit has significantly increased and is expected to climb further this year – and even the biggest problem, the British distribution subsidiary, seems to have been solved. "We are now the stable company that was promised during the group restructuring," Süddeutsche Zeitung quotes Teyssen as saying.

Former RWE CEO Rolf Martin Schmitz, who gave up his post at the end of March, is ranked second behind Teyssen in the image ranking. "From dinosaur of the year to green giant," Die Welt writes in its headline. In addition to the unexpectedly high billion-euro profit for RWE, which accompanies Schmitz' retirement, the newspaper emphasises that none of his predecessors shaped and transformed the company "as fundamentally and sustainably" as Schmitz. "Not many CEOs have fundamentally transformed "their" company in such a short time as Rolf Martin Schmitz did in his five years at the helm of RWE. The fact that the energy turnaround and climate protection left him little choice in the matter in no way diminishes his achievement," Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung writes. 


Christian Klein (SAP) and Kasper Rorsted (adidas) receive media praise for their strategy

SAP CEO Christian Klein rounds up the top three, after coming in sixth in the 2020 overall ranking. The top manager scores points with the media outlets for his strategy during the coronavirus pandemic. Financial Times points out the new product "Rise with SAP", which is to convince customers to switch to the cloud. Börsen-Zeitung stresses that he has set a lot in motion in the nine months alone at the helm, despite the lockdown measures.

With the presentation of his new five-year strategy, which focuses on digitalization and sustainability, adidas CEO Kasper Rorsted has re-entered the top ten of the CEO Image Ranking. Rorsted stands for "internationality and has a lot of experience," Manager Magazin writes. He also benefits from the increased online sales of the sporting goods manufacturer during the coronavirus crisis.  


Roland Busch (Siemens) joins the ranking

Joachim Wenning (Munich Re) is placed fifth in the image ranking. The doctor of economics exudes "serenity and composure" and has a "steady hand in troubled times", Börsen-Zeitung describes the manager.

He is followed by Christian Sewing (Deutsche Bank, sixth place) and Niklas Östberg (Delivery Hero, seventh place), who gained one spot compared to Q4 2020. Roland Busch, CEO of Siemens since February 2021, entered the CEO Image Ranking in eighth place. The media outlets praise the successful transition from Joe Kaser, who had headed the company for more than seven years. Oliver Bäte (Allianz) in ninth place and Theodor Weimer (Deutsche Börse) in tenth place complete the top ten of the Q1 2021 image ranking.


For the CEO ranking, UNICEPTA analyzed around 4,052 articles published from January to March 2021 in leading German media outlets as well as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Economist, the Financial Times and Neue Zürcher Zeitung. The ranking is based on results from the UNICEPTA "DAX Benchmark", with which the provider of Media & Data Intelligence continuously records the media presence of all DAX companies and their CEOs as well as the tonality of media coverage.


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