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).”



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