Top CEOs shun social networking

By SiliconIndia   |   Friday, 26 June 2009, 11:21 Hrs   |    9 Comments
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Top CEOs shun social networking
Bangalore: CEOs of top U.S. companies continue to shun social networking websites like Facebook and Twitter. UberCEO.com, an online news and discussion site with focus on CEOs of major companies, has come out with a report which found that only two CEOs from Fortune magazine's list of top 100 companies have Twitter accounts.

Only 19 CEOs have Facebook accounts and none of them maintain a personal blog. "In our opinion, the top CEOs appear to be disconnected from the way their own customers are communicating," Sharon Barclay, an UberCEO.com Editor, reports Computer World. "They're giving the impression that they're disconnected, disengaged and disinterested. No doubt, regulations such as Sarbanes-Oxley and Reg-FD make CEOs cautious about communicating freely, but they're missing a fabulous opportunity to connect with their target audience."

However, in comparison it was found executives of smaller firms are more active on the social networking side. For instance, the executives of Zappos.com appreciate social networking websites as a medium used by employees to generate sales growth. Of the 1400 employees that it has, 450 including its CEO, Tony Hsieh, actively use Twitter.

It has been found that there is an increasing pressure on companies and their executives to use Web 2.0 tools to stay connected with their customers and partners. Analysts have however noted that the top CEOs have not gotten the message yet.

Only 13 of the top 100 CEOs are members of LinkedIn, which is a social network for business professionals. Of these, five were connected to just one other person on the site. Only three CEOs stood out as they had around 80 connections. They are Michael Dell (Dell), Gregory Spierkel (Ingram Micro) and John Chambers (Cisco).

Barclay says, "We are recommending that every CEO examine their online image and reputation. With the public already skeptical about large corporations, CEOs can't afford to pretend that social media is not for them."

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