Top threats as seen by CEOs


Faced with the rise of populism and protectionism raising barriers between markets around the world, CEOs have retrained their focus from existential threats– such as terrorism and climate change - and back onto business issues more immediately under their purview.

(Photo by Benjamin Child on Unsplash)

The 22nd Annual Global CEO Survey by multinational professional services network PwC finds that, while over-regulation maintains its perennial top spot, terrorism, geopolitical uncertainty and cyber threats are replaced by policy uncertainty, availability of key skills and trade the next in the list of top 10 threats.

“All of these are more immediate concerns tied to the ease of doing business within the economic infrastructure of one’s own markets”, notes the survey’s report, noting the parallels between reduction in terrorism events in 2018 and its lower ranking in this year’s survey (number 23 as opposed to number two last year), and similarly the rise in reported trade conflicts and policy uncertainty due to government actions under new populist regimes. The report concludes,  “individual heads of state are more activist in pulling the economic and business levers at their disposal, which leaves CEOs more cautious and focused on what is in their control.”

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