2021 CEO Outlook. Adaptación, personas y propósito

Business outlook in the post-Covid-19 recovery phase

KPMG publishes the report “CEO Outlook 2021”, based on the results of the survey carried out among the top executives of 1,325 companies, out of which 50 are from Spain, on the prospects for growth and hiring, the strategic priorities and the main challenges and opportunities that companies will find in the next few years.

Some of the most relevant conclusions of the report would be the following:

  • Optimism supported by better macro prospects: After a complex and challenging period caused by the pandemic, CEO´s are once again looking to the future with confidence, backed by the growth forecasts of the main national and international economic organizations. Growth strategies, M&A, staff hiring..., are words that are once again on the top executive’s agenda: "88% plan to close an acquisition deal in the next three years" while, "86% of Spanish CEOs (88% globally) plan to increase the workforce over the next three years”.
  • Lead with purpose: Increasing relevance of having a purpose, considered essential to generate trust and add value to society. According to the report, “society expects leaders to contribute to progress on major societal challenges”. In Spain, "96% of CEOs (89% globally) believe that purpose will play a relevant role in their financial performance in the next three years”. However, the document shows greater pressure in this area since “46% of Spanish CEOS (56% global) admit that, in the face of more demanding requests in terms of diversity, equality and inclusion from stakeholders, they may have problems to meet such expectations”.
  • Digital transformation, innovation, and cybersecurity: The new customer´s behaviors acquired during the pandemic will drive investment in the development of innovative services and solutions based on new technologies, which also implies greater investments in training for employees and cybersecurity. According to the report: "78% of the top Spanish executives (67% global) believe that their investment in innovation processes and detection of possible technological disruptions will increase", and "54% of the CEOs surveyed in Spain assure that their organizations are ready to deal with a cyberattack, four percentage points below the average of the 11 countries in which the survey has been carried out”.

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