Sainsbury’s Justin King named top CEO communicator

Sainsbury’s CEO Justin King has overtaken Unilever boss Paul Polson to take the title of “the most influential” communicator among FTSE-100 chief executive in 2013, according to a study.

King had been ranked as the second-most influential CEO behind Unilever’s Polson in 2012’s version of the list, but the respective CEOs swapped positions this year with supermarket retailer’s boss emerging victorious.

The findings were disclosed in this year’s Aberfield Communications Footsie Influencer Report – which also saw Easyjet CEO Carolyn McCall debuting at number 3.

Meanwhile, WPP chief Sir Martin Sorrell and Burberry CEO Angela Ahrendts (who is soon to join Apple) took the fourth and fifth positions in the chart (just as they did in the 2012 version).

Researchers in the study based their findings on the profiles of each of the candidates, as well as how well their business statements were received both within their own industry sectors, and the wider public, based on media coverage and annual reports.

The study also contains a section on how a CEO’s communication skills and influence can affect a FTSE-100 company’s share price. This was achieved by cross-referencing the index price rises of the top 10 companies in its study (see chart), compared to those of the wider FTSE-100.


It reads: “The FTSE-100 rose by 14.1 per cent in the period 2 January to 31 October 2013, whereas our ‘Aberfield 10’ index rose by 34.25 per cent.

“Eight of those 10 companies outperformed the Footsie, with the top performers being IAG (up 89 per cent), EasyJet (up 71.7 per cent), WPP (up 49.7 per cent) and Next (up 47.1 per cent).”

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here