19th Annual CEO Survey

Australian report and analysis

Find out what's top of mind for Australian CEOs in 2016 with our in-depth analysis of this year's Global CEO Survey. Understand the issues that they think are key to succeeding in the future, and how they differ from their global peers.

View Australian summary

View Global insights and analysis

Summary of the key findings

Want a high level summary of what's top of mind for Australian CEOs?

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CEOs both at home and abroad are feeling less optimistic about global economic growth, as well their own organisation’s ability to grow, compared to views last year.

A plethora of reasons have contributed to this. Australia’s economy is readjusting itself from a mining boom, China’s economy is slowing, and the speed of technological change and a huge leap in cyber-attacks means volatility is the everyday norm.

We’re seeing Australian CEOs respond by focusing on cost-cutting measures and reducing headcount. While there’s merit in this, the focus should be on productivity, innovation and R&D, as these will lead to the long-term sustainable growth Australia needs.

The stakeholder pool is broadening and with it comes challenges of who, and how, companies can effectively communicate organisational values and purpose to. It’s no longer just financial investors or regulators that are essential stakeholders, rather customers, industry competitors and local communities who seem to yield significant impact on organisational strategies. Mobile connectivity and social media have meant that everyone is looking for more information on the companies they engage with. This means companies need to convey much more than financial returns, including the broader impact they have on communities, who they partner with and employee practices.

In this year’s report we discuss key issues across the CEO agenda including growth, transformation, measuring success and managing stakeholders. We also consider the role that government has to play, in particular tax reform and helping secure a skilled and adaptable workforce with a focus on science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM).

In conjunction with the survey participants for Australia, we also interviewed 5 business leaders to further understand just how significant each of these issues are for their organisations, and what they’re doing to address them.

Hear more from Australian CEOs

“I think the government’s agenda in terms of technology and innovation is fantastic, those reforms are going to bring a lot of capital and expertise into Australia.”

Tim Fung
Co-Founder & CEO,

“In our business, we’ve set ourselves on a path to be successful in a world that moves much faster.”

Elmer Funke Kupper,
Managing Director & CEO, ASX

“In five to ten years time, societal expectations will become the heart of your strategy.”

Nicole Sheffield,
CEO, NewsLifeMedia

“In terms of which stakeholder is more influential, you can’t pick one. They’re all dependent on each other. Ignore one at your peril.”

Susan Lloyd Hurwitz,
Managing Director, Mirvac

“For me, the most important measure of success is reputation.”

Richard Goyder,
Managing Director, Wesfarmers