What is on the minds of Swiss CEOs for the year ahead?

PwC's 20th Annual Global CEO Survey




Switzerland Summary 

Technology

Technology impact
  • 55% (60%) say technology has either completely reshaped or had a significant impact on competition in their industry over the past five years alone
  • And 62% (75%) say it will have such a major impact in the next five years.
  • 62% (55%) of Swiss CEOs have strong digital skills. 
In an increasingly digitised world ...
  • 97% (93%) of Swiss CEOs said it was more important to have a strong corporate purpose reflected in values, culture and behaviours
  • 79% (85%) said it was more important to run their business in a way that accounts for wider stakeholder expectations
  • 76% (69%) said it was harder for business to gain and keep trust.

(Global figures)

Growth

Company growth prospects
  • 34% of Swiss CEOs are very confident of their company’s growth in the next 12 months, more than double last year’s 16%, but 4 points down on this year’s global average (38%).
  • In the longer term, again 34% of Swiss CEOs are very confident of their company growth over the next three years, 4 points down on last year and 17 points below this year’s global average (51%).
Global economy
  • An astonishing 48% of Swiss CEOs expect global economic growth to improve over the next 12 months, 14 points up on last year and 19 points above this year’s global average (29%). Only 10% (17%) of Swiss CEOs think global economic growth will decline.
Growth opportunities
  • When asked to name the countries most important for their organisation’s overall growth prospects in the next 12 months, 62% of Swiss CEOs said Germany, 52% said the US, 34% said China and 28% said the UK.
  • When asked which cities were most important to them for organisation’s overall growth prospects, 14% said Frankfurt, 10% said London, 10% said New York, 10% said Shanghai and 10% said Berlin.
 

(Global figures)

Headcount & talent

  • 34% (52%) of Swiss CEOs expect to increase headcount in the next 12 months, with 17% (16%) planning to cut their workforce.
  • When asked about their talent strategy, 86% (87%) of Swiss CEOs say they promote talent diversity and inclusiveness, 83% (78%) say they’ve changed their people strategy to reflect the skills and employment structures needed for the future, and 79% (74%) seek out the best talent regardless of demographics or geography.
  • 79% (77%) of Swiss CEOs find it hard to recruit people with creativity and innovation skills. 

 

(Global figures)

Threats

  • The top potential economic and policy threats highlighted by Swiss CEOs: 79% (56%) the future of the Eurozone, 79% (80%) cited over-regulation, 76% (70%) cited exchange rate volatility and 72% (74%) cited geopolitical uncertainty.
  • Of business threats, 79% (77%) of Swiss CEOs stated availability of key skills, 76% (61%) stated cyber threats, and 62% (59%) stated readiness to respond to a crisis.
  • 93% (57%) of Swiss CEOs are not concerned about the access to affordable capital for their organisation’s growth prospects. 

(Global figures)

Impact of globalisation 

  • 62% (34%) of Swiss CEOs said globalisation had to a large extent helped with universal access to infrastructure and basic services, 55% (62%) said it had led to enabling universal connectivity, and 55% (60%) said it had helped with improving the ease of moving capital, people, goods and information.

(Global figures)

Stakeholder Trust

  • When asked where the largest extent of negative impact on stakeholder trust levels in their industry over the next five years would come from, 72% (53%) of Swiss CEOs cited cyber security breaches, 52% (55%) cited breaches of data privacy and ethics, and 38% (47%) cited IT outages and disruptions
  • And 48% (55%) said today, to a large extent, they were addressing IT outages and disruption, and 48% (52%) were addressing cyber security breaches.

(Global figures)

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