Leading US CEOs Media Impact July – September 2023 




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The influence of a CEO extends far beyond boardrooms and financial reports. The executive’s personal brand can be the bedrock of an organization’s reputation. As PR and Comms professionals, we must interrogate leadership behaviors, crisis responses, and brand perception to fully protect our organizations. You must also benchmark against your industry competitors to fully understand how your CEOs and organizations are performing in the media

In our latest CEO Index report, we reveal which US CEOs are making the biggest impact and why. But here are some of the best takeaways: 

Mark Zuckerberg ranks number one for the first time in 2023 

The Meta CEO jumped up two places to top position on the Onclusive CEO index, pulling ahead of rival Elon Musk. Zuckerberg’s continues to be mentioned alongside X owner (formally Twitter), with the launch of Threads as a key driver. Controversy over alleged censorship around Covid-19 Facebook posts also weighed heavily, with Republicans seeking to hold the tech leader in contempt.

Onclusive’s latest CEO Index report also reveals ‘Regulation’ was a key theme mentioned alongside CEOs from US Fortune 100 businesses between July – September 2023, with US Technology CEOs mentioned prominently under the topic of regulation. All these factors will have contributed to Zuckerberg’s ascent to the top spot in Q3.

Bob Iger increases by six rankings to number three 

Disney’s CEO – Bob Iger – received much media attention due to the long-running Hollywood writers’ strikes. The strike began in May of this year, and has affected the Disney CEO’s coverage over Q3.

Other key stories concerning Mr Iger were around poor share price performance. Iger, has been accused of being “tone deaf” and unrealistic in his economic expectations. Many believe this is linked to talk of a potential sale of Disney and a break-up of the company (Benzinga). The future of ESPN and an ongoing dispute with Republican politician Ron DeSantis, are also contributing factors to his increased media mentions.

US CEOs accounted for 50% of all media mentions relating to regulation 

From July to September 2023. leaders from companies like Apple, Tesler, Meta and Microsoft dominated media mentions. Regarding ‘Regulation’ mentions, the US had a 50% share of voice globally, with the UK and Germany coming in at 15% and 12% respectively. This dominance may be due to the fallout of recent regulation scandals e.g. A federal lawsuit citing racial discrimination at Tesla, or increased calls for better measures to safeguard children on social media platforms.

Gathering data insights on your CEO 

Having this depth of information about your CEO and brand is crucial for gaining a competitive edge and reacting quickly and effectively to negative media coverage. So, how can you apply the same level of understanding to your organization?  

1.Utilize media monitoring tools  

We all use media monitoring tools to track the success of our PR efforts is securing earned coverage. But do you also track mentions, sentiment, and trending topics related to your CEO and organization? Real-time data is your strategic advantage when it comes to building and maintaining your CEO’s image. 

2.Put competitor benchmarks in place  

Compare your CEO’s and brand’s media perception with industry peers and competitors. Understanding the broader landscape provides context and strategic insights which you can use to optimize communications strategy and influence decision making. 

3.Take action from intelligent insights based on the data you gather 

Once you have all the data, you can build a clear understanding of not only how your performing but also, why. Onclusive’s team of consultants transform data into knowledge; finding evidence to inspire new thinking and drive communications strategies that make a real impact to your brand’s reputation. 

By having this holistic approach to gaining insight, you can fully understand your brand perception and overall reputation score, whether in times of crisis or normality. It allows you to: 

  • Rapidly identify shifts in sentiment with early detection, 
  • Tailor your messaging based on real-time insights, 
  • Align your messaging with the expectations and concerns of key stakeholders -This fosters trust and transparency, 
  • Regularly evaluate and adjust your strategy based on evolving circumstances. 


A CEO is the embodiment of a company’s values, vision, and ethical standards. Consumers are calling for transparency more and more. Stories on regulation are becoming more prominent in the news agenda. These stories often bring leadership styles into question. Stakeholders are going to scrutinize both the corporate decisions and personal conduct of CEOs. As PR and comms pros, let’s arm ourselves with strategic foresight to better protect CEO and brand health.