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What's on the minds of Canadian CEOs for the year ahead?

20th CEO Survey

PwC Canada's CEO and Senior Partner Bill McFarland introduces the Canadian insights into the 20th CEO Survey

The Canadian survey results raise some important questions. In this video Bill McFarland reflects on the caution signals around driving growth in today’s global marketplace, technological changes and innovation- and talent-related challenges.

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Our survey found that 100% of Canadian CEOs are confident about the growth prospects of their organizations in the next three years. They rank new strategic alliances and joint ventures, collaboration with entrepreneurs and startups as important enablers of future growth and innovation. Geopolitical uncertainty is identified as the biggest risk to growth, with the majority of Canadian CEOs expressing concern over the emergence of protectionist attitudes.

Most CEOs believe technology will completely reshape their businesses over the next five years. Meanwhile, the speed of technological disruption and its threat to traditional business models seems to be less of an immediate concern for Canadian leaders. Canadian leaders don’t view the hiring of people with innovation skills as a top priority.

In the wake of these challenges, Canadian business leaders face some tough decisions which will set the stage for long-term prosperity for Canadians.

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I think there's two trends, one that will impede in the shorter term is the rise of populism, which I worry about, the rise of people closing their borders to some degree. And then the second is the rise of disruptive technologies, which generally are a good thing for the world, but they can have an impact on employment in particular, as the technologies work through industries.

Mark Machin, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB)

Mark Machin, President and CEO of Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB), Canada

Mark was appointed President and CEO in June 2016, where he is responsible for leading CPP Investment Board and its investment activities. Mark joined CPPIB in 2012 as CPPIB’s first President for Asia.

Prior to joining CPPIB, Mark had a 20 year career at Goldman Sachs, where he was most recently Vice Chairman of Asia ex-Japan. Mark has been based in Asia for more than 20 years where, among other roles, he ran the Investment Banking Division of Goldman Sachs in Asia ex-Japan for six years.

Mark studied undergraduate and graduate medicine and holds a BA in Physiological Sciences from Oriel College, Oxford University and BM BChir from Downing College, Cambridge University.

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Bill McFarland

Bill McFarland

CEO and Chief Inclusion Officer, PwC Canada

Tel: +1 416 869 2859

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