CEO Conference Summaries

2012 Board of Boards CEO Roundtable

Next Generation Community Involvement: A Transformative Business Opportunity
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On February 27, 2012, International Corporate Philanthropy Day, CECP convened more than 50 global CEOs, including executive delegations from Brazil and India, to discuss the theme of “Next Generation Community Involvement.” In this closed-door session, which has been consistently ranked among the world’s top 10 executive events by global public relations firm Weber Shandwick, this esteemed group focused on the differing roles of key constituents – specifically consumers and investors –  in creating and sustaining business value and addressing societal challenges.

In this two-panel discussion, Angela Ahrendts, CEO of Burberry and Shelly Lazarus, Chairman, Ogilvy & Mather spoke on guiding consumers, followed by Hikmet Ersek, President and CEO, Western Union and Daniel L. Doctoroff, President and CEO, Bloomberg L.P. in a conversation on educating investors. Led by  Nader Mousavizadeh, CEO, Oxford Analytica, the conference began with opening remarks from H.E. Fernando Henrique Cardoso, former President of Brazil, and closed with a luncheon keynote by David Cote, CEO, Honeywell and Co-Chair, US-India CEO Forum. 

With this Executive Report, CECP shares the results of interactive attendee poll questions and highlights from this important conversation, which began with a focus on the future of corporate community involvement and evolved into a discussion of balancing the needs of a company’s core stakeholders.

Key Takeaways:

  • Few CEOs felt that companies have been very successful in living up to the social contract. Attendees viewed this as a call to action: companies should play a more active role in addressing societal issues on which they have the resources and expertise to make a positive impact.
  • 59% of CEOs reported that consumers are demanding greater levels of transparency regarding a company’s community engagement initiatives than they were five years ago. 
  • 69% of CEOs felt that their companies’ community engagement efforts are rewarded by consumers, although a majority of those CEOs cannot concretely measure those rewards. 
  • 52% of CEOs indicated that shareholder demand for transparency regarding a company’s commitment to community engagement is unchanged from five years ago, and that demand has not increased amidst the economic downturn.
  • 45% of CEOs believe that the business community will be the agent for leading progress in the marketplace toward long-term societal well-being, as opposed to consumers (32%), government (18%), or investors (0%). 

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