The CEO of the Future: female, communicative and IT-savvy

The chief executives of tomorrow will become even more powerful and lonely than is currently the case, concludes Forbes after analysing a new study on leadership by management consultancy Strategy&, formerly know as Booz.


Changes in business and in the expectations of executives will produce a fundamentally different type of leader in the captain’s seat. In a quarter of a century’s time a third of the top jobs will be held by women. By 2040, many CEOs will have a deep understanding of IT and work experience abroad. Also, investors and shareholders, by then fully alert of the need for transparency, will demand a high level of accountability. To cope, CEOs will not only need excellent skills as communicators, but also a lot of resilience since they will be responsible for steering the organization through relationships with employees, customers, suppliers and investors, as well as increasingly non-governmental organizations - largely on their own. Increased integration of strategy with the CEO’s role will also end the era of the chief strategy officer, who is a feature of today’s large organisations.

Strategy& is also analysing careers and business trends from 100 years ago to today to look at the evolution of the Chief Executive Officer. In 1914, business leaders discussed the establishment of the first central bank in the United States, the use of electricity in their plants and the implications of the war. Following the world financial crisis of 2008-09, today's corporate leaders feel comparatively upbeat. Their businesses are growing, although they still have plenty of concerns about global financial imbalances, new trade agreements, and finding people with the right skills. Contemporary CEOs recognise the importance of a strong corporate culture, and the need to attract and retain talent in an increasingly global talent pool.


Barbara Bierach

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