Customers don’t care when a CEO quits or gets canned

March 19, 2018

A prominent CEO’s departure from one of the country’s biggest brands will ripple across the news, sparking lengthy analysis by reporters and talking heads, and often cause a shareholder reaction. But, for the general public, it barely causes an impact on brand perception—confirming that what goes on “under the corporate hood” pretty much stays there, according to findings of a poll by YouGov BrandIndex, released on March 15.

The researchers examined five recent CEO departures from well-known global corporations—General Electric, J. Crew, Lululemon, Starbucks, and Yahoo—to see if there was any notable movement on each of their Buzz scores. Buzz scores are derived daily from asking respondents: “If you’ve heard anything about the brand in the last two weeks, through advertising, news or word of mouth, was it positive or negative?”

In all cases, each brand’s Buzz score either remained unchanged or moved very little in any direction the week after the CEO announcement. This seems to be the case whether a CEO left voluntarily or under more strained circumstances, despite the media circus that can often surround the latter.

Research contact: ted.marzilli@yougov.com

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *