CEO departures barely alter consumer perception of their companies

Ted MarzilliCEO YouGov Direct
March 15, 2018, 5:00 PM GMT+0

A prominent CEO’s departure from one of the country’s biggest brands will ripple across the news, sparking lengthy analysis by reporters and talking heads, and often cause a shareholder reaction. But for the general public, it barely causes an impact on the brand’s perception, confirming that what goes on “under the corporate hood” pretty much stays there, according to YouGov BrandIndex.

YouGov BrandIndex examined five recent CEO departures from well-known global corporations – General Electric, J. Crew, Lululemon, Starbucks, and Yahoo – to see if there was any notable movement on each of their Buzz scores. Buzz scores are derived daily from asking respondents: "If you've heard anything about the brand in the last two weeks, through advertising, news or word of mouth, was it positive or negative?"

In all cases, each brand’s Buzz score either remained unchanged or moved very little in any direction the week after the CEO announcement. This seems to be the case whether a CEO left voluntarily or under more strained circumstances, despite the media hubbub that can often surround the latter.

Photo: Getty

Find out more about YouGov BrandIndex