Global CEOs are scrambling to strengthen supply chains and make them more resilient, manage through inflation and make sustainability and renewable energy part of a longer-term growth strategy, according to The Conference Board's C-Suite Outlook Mid-Year survey.
The report is a wartime update to The Conference Board's annual survey. The Russia-Ukraine war has stressed global C-suites with 8 out of 10 CEOs now expecting a recession in their primary region of operation within the next 12 to 18 months.
According to The Conference Board's latest CEO survey, based on 750 CEOs and CXOs in North America, Latin America, Asia and Europe, companies are accelerating transformation in areas such as cyber risk, supply chains, renewable energy and crisis and contingency planning.
These CEO concerns also reflect the need for companies to become more efficient, automate and retool processes to deliver value amid multiple crises. These themes surfaced regularly at Celonis World Tour 2022 stops.
Overall, CEOs said inflation was the No. 1 concern with higher input costs and energy price volatility as the two top issues affecting their business in the next 12 months, according to The Conference Board.
Fifty one percent of CEOs said passing higher input costs onto consumers was the top tactic to dealing with inflation with cutting costs at 47%.
Supply chains were also a core topic for CEOs with 53% saying their top action was making supply chains more resilient. Among CEOs with operations in Russia, 78% cited supply chain resiliency as their top priority. That figure was 72% for CEOs with operations in Ukraine.
Renewable energy has also become a key area due to long-term supply chain resilience. The Conference Board found 28% of global CEOs were accelerating progress toward renewable energy use. Also: Sustainability will drive returns on investment with assist from inflation
Technology is also seen as a key to long-term growth. Fifty-eight percent of global CEOs cite digital transformation as their top investment with 57% focused on hybrid work models and 43% increasing automation.