CEO Communication Style and Company Impact

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CEO Communication Style and Company Impact

FTI Consulting conducted research in which it analyzed the communication strategies of CEOs of 100 fast-growing companies in Europe and the United States to determine the impact of the CEO's communication on the company's share price. The study, published in July 2020, found that 12 out of the 15 fastest-growing brands had vocal CEOs. Below are case studies of two CEOs with proactive communications strategies built from the FTI study and other publicly available resources.

Jitse Groen - Takeaway.com

  • Jitse Groen is the founder and CEO of Takeaway.com, a leading digital food delivery platform. Initially, Groen kept a low profile and was conservative in his communication. The company's M&A activities increased in 2019 with the acquisition of U.K.-based rival Just Eats.
  • At around the same time, Groen "significantly raised his communication profile" because he saw the "need to showcase the company’s ability to sustain momentum and come out ahead in the market." Groen's communication strategy involves proactively engaging with the media, especially to drum up support for major transactions/activities.
  • In November 2019, for instance, Groen was boldly and consistently engaging the media ahead of the acquisition of Just Eats with statements such as, "Our team has a proven ability to win in competitive markets and has defeated numerous competitors in many countries, whether large scale tech giants or well-funded, own-delivery challengers." In another statement, the CEO said, "Just Eat/Takeaway.com is a dream combination and I am very much looking forward to leading the company for many years to come."
  • Not only did Groen's bold and proactive media communication strategy convince over 80% of Just Eat's shareholders to approve the merger, but it also caused Takeaway.com's share price to soar by 44%.
  • Groen's proactive media engagement continued in 2020 ahead and after Takeaway.com's acquisition of Grubhub.

Lisa Su - AMD

  • Lisa Su has served as the CEO of AMD, a leading semiconductor company, since 2014. Su took over the company when it was almost filing for bankruptcy, and its share price was at about $2 per share. In that time, AMD's stock rose by over 900%, and it's share price reached almost $47 by December 2019.
  • Su managed to turn AMD around by focusing only on products on high-performance product categories, i.e. where the company was a leader. Her strategy paid off because, as Barron's reports, the rise in AMD's stock reflects the optimism among investors regarding the company's current product pipeline.
  • In a recent interview with Fortune Magazine, Su attributed her success in getting both AMD shareholders and employees in line with the renewed focus to what she called 'extreme communication.' According to Su, "if you want something to stick you have to say it 75 times and then say it another 75 times."
  • According to an August 2020 article by WomLead Magazine, Su's strategy basically entail's "repeating the same message over and over until it sinks in."
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