What’s on the mind of 1,379 CEOs around the world?
Middle East Region
Over the past 20 years CEOs have witnessed tremendous upheavals as a result of globalisation and technological change. In our 20th CEO Survey, nearly 1,400 CEOs share their views on the impact of these forces on growth, talent, trust and society. In this short video, PwC’s global chairman Bob Moritz, reflects on how today we’re at an inflection point; for leaders it’s now time to both raise and communicate the role of business in society and the positive impact it can have.
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Globalisation has brought many benefits, but also downsides. With greater convergence has come greater divergence in beliefs, values and systems. CEOs are concerned about uncertain economic growth, over-regulation and skills shortages. Yet CEOs are surprisingly optimistic about growth: 38% are very confident in their company’s 12-month revenue growth prospects.
Many individuals worry that globalisation and technology will eliminate their jobs. In reality, CEOs now recognise the need for talent – 52% plan to increase headcount, but can’t find people with the right skills. And 77% of CEOs are concerned that a shortage of key skills could impair their company’s growth. CEOs know they can’t innovate using technology alone.
CEOs are paying close attention to how human connection is affected by technology. And as our interactions become ever more automated, data-driven and virtual, the human factor is receding. Fully 69% of CEOs are convinced that it’s harder to gain and retain people’s trust in an increasingly digitalised and connected world.
While nearly two thirds of CEOs agree that globalisation has benefited connectivity, trade and capital mobility, 44% say it has not helped at all in closing the gap between rich and poor. This year, the world has been forced to consider how globalisation can work for all. Here businesses have a significant role to play.
CEOs in the Middle East are positive about the prospects for their businesses. 38% of respondents in the region are very confident about their company’s prospects over the next 12 months (the same as the global average), compared to 34% when we asked the same question last year. As many as 60% have the same degree of confidence over the next three years – by far the highest of any region, and 9% ahead of the global average. Likewise 30% were somewhat confident when asked this question last year, but this has risen to 34% this year. This confidence also resonates into plans for the workforce: 56% of the region’s respondents expect to increase their headcount over the next year, against an average of 52% globally.
First interviewed in 2014, Alexey Marey - Member of the Board of Directors and CEO – shares his thoughts on the shifting global economic structure, opportunities in data development and the challenges for society as robots become a bigger part of life.
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Craig Donaldson, CEO - reflects on technology as an enabler, maintaining a customer-centric culture, overcoming privacy concerns and staying fit for the future. Craig was first interviewed in 2014.
Alex Arena, Group Managing Director, was first interviewed for our CEO Survey in 2012. In this anniversary retrospective interview, he covers topics such as globalisation, talent in the digital age, and the impact of technology.
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Middle East Senior Partner
Tel: +971 4 304 3100
Clients and Markets Leader
Tel: +971 4 304 3100