The KPMG 2020 CEO Outlook COVID-19 Special Edition offers a unique lens on evolving attitudes as the pandemic has unfolded. KPMG initially surveyed 1,300 CEOs in January and February, before many markets were beginning to feel the full impact of lockdowns. Then, in July and early August, we conducted a follow-up survey of 315 CEOs to understand how thinking has evolved. Key developments include:
- Talent and a new working reality: Businesses are looking to change their recruitment strategies as remote working has widened their potential talent pool and companies may be rethinking their office space in the short-term while also considering the future of work.
- Shifting risk agenda: Since the start of the pandemic, ‘Talent risk’ has risen to be named as the most significant threat to the growth of their businesses ahead of ‘Supply chain risk’ and a ‘Return to territorialism’.
- Digital acceleration: Business leaders are betting on major dimensions of digital transformation and the majority have seen this accelerate during the lockdown.
Overall, three key themes emerged from this year’s survey, which we characterize as Purpose, Prosperity and Priorities.