Corporate Eye

Sites For CEOs

Things have changed in the last 15 years. In the mid-1990s, I remember hearing about a CEO from a major company when he was getting briefed about the Internet, brought his secretary since he did not know how to use a keyboard. Now CEOs are necessarily technology savvy and are increasingly using the internet. A number of surveys confirm this.

Forbes magazine’s survey “Day In The Life of C-Level Executives” (2004) found –

Web Usage

  • The internet continues to be the most influential and important source of information on business for C-Level executives around the world.
  • The Web is a pervasive presence in the lives of C-level executives: 38 percent of C-level respondents said the Web is their single most important source for information on business. The next most prevalent source of information was daily newspapers by 26 percent of respondents.
  • Among large company executives, the reliance on the Web is even greater with 51 percent naming the Web is their most important business information resource, followed by newspapers at 22 percent.
  • C-level executive respondents also stated they are spending less time with other media, including newspapers, magazines, TV, radio and industry trade publications as a result of the time they spend online (not including email): 59 percent are spending less time with magazines, 50 percent say they are spending less time with newspapers, 48 percent less time with TV, 46 percent less time with radio and industry trade publications respectively.
  • 26 percent of large firm respondents said they are knowledgeable about Wi-Fi technology and they are reporting some current usage of the technology.

In a more recent study, Bersin & Associates indicate:

Searching for information is unproductive and difficult.

When asked what challenges they (CEOs) face in obtaining current and relevant information, the executives overwhelming indicated that they are “too busy” to sort through the myriad information available to them to find the critical, authoritative information that they require. Comments such as “Takes a great deal of time to get the most relevant information.”, were common among the respondents who regularly utilize multiple information resources including newspapers, trade journals, analyst reports and business books. Interestingly, company training was not considered useful for critical information by almost all of the respondents.

The problem is that the rapid increase in information, more spam sites linked to keywords on the internet, major search engines do not have effective business search capabilities and their inability to filter out clutter and irrelevant results all lead to massive information overload. The result is wasted CEO time and costs in the search for useful information. However, there are some sites targeted toward CEOs and I will review a few. Review criteria were: good content, free, no registration.

A new site is Chief Executive Officer

For a new site, it has a decent array of content, whitepapers available with no registration required, news, company and industry links and a good “thought leadership” section. In sum, worthy of a visit and good expectations for the future.

A content rich site is Forbe’s Leadership

Look at the menu, good topics. Very robust content, scroll down and visit Lists and Rankings, then click on Integrity. This is one of the best sites covering the subject. This site has a CEO membership network that genuine CEOs can join. I tried to join but was rejected. Overall the site, for content relevant to CEOs, has got to be one of the best. One problem … annoying ads but the site is free.

This is another good CEO site Chief Executive.

The site has a good selection of content on a variety of CEO issues. There are interviews with CEOs and a unique CEO Confidence Index that measures the confidence that CEOs have in the economy as well as their future business plan. Ads are not as annoying as on the Forbe’s site. One complaint, because of the continuing importance of Ethics/Integrity, there should be a menu item for this.

Here is a site that is nestled in the back roads of the Internet CEO Exchange.

This site is broadcasted by the Public Broadcast System in the US, therefore there are limited ads. It is unique in that content focus is only CEO interviews and only in video format. The advantage is that you instantly know what you are getting and the video format should be compatible with CEOs’ busy agendas.

These are all worthy sites with good to excellent content that can be easily accessed by CEOs and other members of the C-Suite. There are other good CEO sites and I will list them.

CEOWorld A relatively new CEO networking site, registration required, videos, groups adding content.

Fortune 500 Blogs See how companies and some C-Suite leaders are blogging.

Reputation Institute This is premier site for ranking corporate reputations. Primarily a membership site but articles by members is free. Make sure your company is on the list.

Values Based Management This is not specifically for CEOs, but if you need to quickly find out about a business topic such as Economic Value Added, CAPM, PEST, SWOT this site will help you.

I could list more but it would be more helpful if you posted comments on specific topics you are interested in having reviewed. Now let that keyboard sing.

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Ed Konczal has an MBA from New York University's Stern School of Business (with distinction). He has spent the last 10 years as an executive consultant focusing on human resources, leadership, market research, and business planning. Ed has over 10 years of top-level experience from AT&T in the areas of new ventures and business planning. He is co-author of the book "Simple Stories for Leadership Insight," published by University Press of America.