Key insights from the KPMG 2016 CEO Outlook | KPMG | BS
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Despite new challenges, CEOs confident in growth through transformation

Key insights from the KPMG 2016 CEO Outlook

KPMG’s 2016 Global CEO Outlook reveals that CEOs are increasingly confident in achieving growth in the next 3 years. Despite having realistic concerns with their current readiness to face emerging challenges, CEOs are confident they can transform their companies for the future.


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Respondents to KPMG’s 2016 Global CEO Outlook, including many top CEOs from the world’s largest companies, showed considerable confidence in the near-term future growth prospects for their organizations, their industry and the domestic and global economies.

At the same time, they recognize that their success hinges on the ability to adapt and transform their companies in the face of unprecedented change. In fact, 72 percent of CEOs believe that the next 3 years will be more critical for their industry than the last 50 years. Seeing how evolving technology is now unleashing an astounding rate of change, almost half of CEOs expect to be running significantly transformed companies.

Global CEOs also acknowledge that the changes they expect to make to their companies won’t come easily. They exhibit realistic expectations about the challenges ahead and they question whether they, and their organizations, currently possess the right capabilities to handle the emerging issues.

In spite of their concerns about tackling challenges they have never encountered before, the CEOs remain optimistic that they can transform their organizations for this evolving future. Their confidence is illustrated by their plans to hire more talent, introduce new technologies and implement transformation plans over the next 3 years.

Highlights of KPMG’s 2016 Global CEO Outlook

KPMG’s 2016 Global CEO Outlook study provides a vivid image of global CEOs’ expectations for business growth, the challenges they face and their strategies to chart organizational success over the next 3 years. Key findings include:

  • The vast majority of CEOs are confident in future growth, with 89 percent feeling confident in their own company’s growth, 86 percent confident in their home country’s growth, 85 percent confident in their industry and 80 percent confident in the global economy.
  • Almost half (48 percent) of CEOs say their company’s annual top-line growth will be between 2 and 5 percent.
  • CEOs expect the primary sources of growth to be from new products (28 percent), new customers (26 percent), new markets (25 percent) and new channels (22 percent).

Top concerns and priorities

The most pressing concerns for CEOs are:

  • customer loyalty (88 percent)
  • impact of the global economy (88 percent)
  • lack of time to think strategically about the forces of disruption and innovation shaping their company’s future (86 percent).

The top strategic priorities over the next 3 years are:

  • fostering innovation (21 percent)
  • having stronger client focus (19 percent)
  • implementing disruptive technology (18 percent)
  • developing and/or managing talent (18 percent)
  • stronger marketing, branding and communications (17 percent).

About the survey

The survey targeted 1,268 CEOs in 10 key markets (Australia, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Spain, UK and US) and 11 key industry sectors (automotive, banking, insurance, investment management, life sciences, manufacturing, technology, telecommunications, retail/consumer markets and energy/utilities). A third of the respondents have more than US$10 billion in annual revenue, with no responses from companies under US$500 million in annual revenue.

© 2018 KPMG International Cooperative (“KPMG International”), a Swiss entity. Member firms of the KPMG network of independent firms are affiliated with KPMG International. KPMG International provides no client services. No member firm has any authority to obligate or bind KPMG International or any other member firm vis-à-vis third parties, nor does KPMG International have any such authority to obligate or bind any member firm. All rights reserved.

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