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CareerBuilder Survey: How well do American workers know their Senior Leadership?

One in five American workers says they don’t know what their chief executive looks like; More than two-thirds of workers don’t know how much their company generates in revenue each year

CHICAGO, March 29, 2012 – American businesses take pride in its chief executives. An addition or loss of a magnetic CEO can influence markets and alter brand perceptions overnight. But how well do rank-and file-workers know the senior leaders at their organization?

A new CareerBuilder survey of more than 7,000 full-time workers shows that while most workers have met their CEO, many don’t even know what he or she looks like. The nationwide survey was conducted by Harris Interactive © between November 9 and December 5, 2011.

Who knows their CEO?

A majority (60 percent) of workers says they’ve met their CEO; 40 percent have not. By industry, workers in business services, sales and manufacturing are most likely to have met their CEO, while a majority of workers in IT, financial services and retail say they have not met their organization’s top leader.

Conversely, 21 percent of American workers don’t know what their CEO looks like, with workers from Midwest and South being most likely not to know:

23 percent – Midwest

23 percent – South

19 percent – West

18 percent – East

C-Level Suite

Workers’ knowledge of the organizational chart falls off significantly after the CEO. Only 35 percent of workers can name all of the C-level officers at their organization, while an additional 21 percent can only name some C-level officers.

Knowledge of Company Finances

The survey suggests that familiarity with senior leadership does not necessarily correlate with knowledge of the company’s financial performance. More than two-thirds (68 percent) of workers don’t know how much their company generates in revenue each year.

“Leadership from the C-suite can be a difficult balance. The CEO and, in some cases, other senior leaders are the face of the company both internally and externally. Meaning, they need to find a level of accessibility that allows them to connect with employees, while on the other hand, dedicate the necessary time for building relationships with outside stakeholders,” said Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources at CareerBuilder. “Employees realize their top leaders can’t know everyone on a first name basis, but they do expect their leaders to be a public symbol that embodies the organization’s values.”

Survey Methodology
This survey was conducted online within the U.S. by Harris Interactive© on behalf of CareerBuilder among 7,780 U.S. workers (employed full-time, not self-employed, non-government) between November 9 and December 5, 2011 (percentages for some questions are based on a subset, based on their responses to certain questions). With a pure probability sample of 7,780, one could say with a 95 percent probability that the overall results have a sampling error of +/- 1.11 percentage points. Sampling error for data from sub-samples is higher and varies.

About CareerBuilder®

CareerBuilder is the global leader in human capital solutions, helping companies target and attract their most important asset - their people. Its online career site, CareerBuilder.com®, is the largest in the United States with more than 24 million unique visitors, 1 million jobs and 45 million resumes. CareerBuilder works with the world’s top employers, providing resources for everything from employment branding and data analysis to recruitment support. More than 10,000 websites, including 140 newspapers and broadband portals such as MSN and AOL, feature CareerBuilder’s proprietary job search technology on their career sites. Owned by Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE:GCI), Tribune Company and The McClatchy Company (NYSE:MNI), CareerBuilder and its subsidiaries operate in the United States, Europe, Canada and Asia. For more information, visit www.careerbuilder.com.


CareerBuilder Media Contact
For all media inquiries and interview requests, contact:

Jennifer Grasz
(P) 773-527-1164
(E) jennifer.grasz@careerbuilder.com