Empirical Evidence on CEO Reputation: Perspectives, Actions and Influence

  •  Maria Giovanna Confetto    
  •  Francesca Conte    
  •  Claudia Covucci    


The study aims to explore the theoretical perspective (ability or symbolic image perspective) that underlies the development of reputation of Chief Executive Officers (CEO), investigating the activities that contribute to create a leaders’ good name and exploring their view about the level of influence of their personal reputation on corporate reputation. Through a structured questionnaire, a web survey has been carried out addressing CEOs of large companies located in Italy. The respondents to the survey are 93 CEOs.

The findings of the survey reveal that, according to executives’ view, CEO reputation reflects individual skills (ability perspective), in which the leadership style, credibility and charisma play a key role. Furthermore, results highlight executives are aware that their reputation are increasingly intertwined with the corporate reputation, but they do not believe that the construction of a personal brand is necessary to increase their reputation and, consequently, that of the company.

The study sheds more light on the understanding of CEO’s reputation role in corporate reputation development, reinforcing the value of strategic leadership perspective. It contributes to the ongoing debate on CEO reputation and involves managerial implications, pointing out advantages and risks of linking CEO branding with company’s reputation.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.