DBS chief executive Piyush Gupta has been ranked most prominent CEO in the eyes of the media. As a key authoritative spokesperson on issues around Hong Kong’s political unrest and uncertainties in the market, Gupta was said to be transparent and regularly communicating to the media on profit margin, share price and growth factors.
The study was done by media evaluation company CARMA ASIA on the prominence of Singapore’s top CEOs amongst local publications such as The Straits Times, Business Times, The Edge Singapore, Prestige among several others. The 15 top most prominent CEOs in Singapore are as listed:
- Piyush Gupta, DBS Bank
- Samuel N. Tsien, OCBC Bank
- Wee Ee Chong, UOB
- Loh Boon Chye, SGX
- Liam Wee Sin, UOL
- Chua Sock Koong, Singtel
- Lee Lik Hsin, Scoot
- Yang Ban Seng, ComfortDelgro
- Ng Yat Chung, SPH
- Vincent Chong, ST Engineering
- Henry Chu, BreadTalk Group
- Lee Seow Hiang, Changi Airport Group
- Peter Kaliaropoulos, StarHub
- Kuok Khoon Hong, Wilmar
- Tan Hee Teck, Genting Singapore
Prominent CEO traits
According to CARMA ASIA, the criteria of the candidates were to ascertain the most prominent chief executives based on volume of coverage, and how prominent they appeared within the media. The tonality was measured based on the quality of the spokesperson, and issues surrounding the brand and positioning statements communicated. The top 15 most prominent chief executives in the media were qualitatively analysed on their media performance over a three-month period of June to August 2019.
Gupta was praised for being instrumental in driving DBS to be named the world’s best bank according to Euromoney magazine. The discussion around the bank also focused on DBS’s positive financial results despite heightened economic uncertainty and geopolitical tensions. However, negative sentiment stemmed from reporting of Gupta’s substantial salary of SG$11.9 million in 2018.
Meanwhile, ST Engineering president and CEO, Vincent Chong who came in at number 10 was also highlighted in the study as he was found to be "most favourable" of CEOs among Singaporeans. Media reports around Chong were positive as the company recored increasing net profit and record-high orders creating favourable visibility of the group’s revenue. According to the reports, Chong also positioned ST Engineering at the forefront of high-tech, while developing home-grown technology and inviting foreign companies to trial their own.
CARMA ASIA’s co-founder and managing director, Andrew Nicholls said, “CEOs are increasingly expected to stand at the forefront as brand ambassadors, so evaluating their contribution as communicators must go beyond simply counting column inches. This research highlights the importance of qualitative communications analysis and how it correlates to broader organisational impact.”
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