25th Global Annual CEO Survey - Methodology


PwC surveyed 4,446 CEOs in 89 countries and territories in October and November  2021. The global and regional figures in this report are weighted proportionally to country or regional nominal GDP to ensure that CEOs’ views are representative across all major regions. The industry- and country-level figures are based on unweighted data from the full sample of 4,446 CEOs. There were 178 CEOs from Central and Eastern Europe included in the sub-sample. Further details by region, country and industry are available on request. Ninety-four percent of the interviews were conducted online and 6% by post, by telephone or face-to-face. All quantitative interviews were conducted on a confidential basis. Among the 4,446 CEOs that participated in the survey globally:

  • 3% of their organisations had revenues of US$25bn or more.

  • 5% of their organisations had revenues between US$10bn and US$25bn.

  • 18% of their organisations had revenues between US$1bn and US$10bn.

  • 30% of their organisations had revenues between US$100m and US$1bn.

  • 38% of their organisations had revenues of up to US$100m.

  • 66% of their organisations were privately owned.


Not all percentages in charts add up to 100%—a result of rounding percentages, multi-selection answer options, and the decision in certain cases to exclude the display of certain responses, including ‘other,’ ‘none of the above’ and ‘don’t know.’


To create an index of perceived customer trust, we asked CEOs to respond to six questions related to the frequency of customer engagement with their company. Each of these questions reflected a different dimension of trust: loyalty, reliability, foresight, intuition, competency, and benevolence. We aggregated the responses and normalised the results by industry to generate an index. Finally, we ensured independence from demographic characteristics such as the company location or size.


To paint a richer picture of the relationship among net-zero commitments, corporate strategy and executive compensation, we categorised companies into four groups:

  • Group 1 includes companies that have made or are in the process of making net-zero commitments that are science-aligned (meaning they align with the scale of reductions necessary to keep global temperature increases to 1.5°C or well below 2°C compared to pre-industrial temperatures). 

  • Group 2 companies have made or are in the process of making net-zero commitments that are not science-aligned, potentially diminishing the firms’ ability to reduce emissions.

  • Group 3 includes companies that have made or are in the process of making carbon-neutral commitments, which are a less robust target than net-zero.

  • Group 4 companies have neither made nor begun to make a formal net-zero or carbon-neutral commitment to date.

We also conducted in-depth interviews with CEOs from five global regions (North America, Latin America, Western Europe, Asia-Pacific and Africa). Some of these interviews are quoted in this report; in most cases, the full interviews can be found at

The research was undertaken by PwC Research, our global centre of excellence for primary research and evidence-based consulting services.


Contact us

Nick Kós

Nick Kós

CEO, PwC Central and Eastern Europe

Jeffery McMillan

Jeffery McMillan

CEE Director of Brand and Communications, PwC Central and Eastern Europe

Tel: +48 519 506 633

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