Optimism is back in the boardroom

It’s been roughly 18 months since the World Health Organization declared Covid-19 a global pandemic. KPMG returns with its annual CEO survey to gauge how leadership strategies and concerns have shifted during these demanding times. And if one word could summarize our report, it’s optimism — a remarkable and reassuring shift.

Key findings

The KPMG CEO Outlook series offers a unique lens on the ongoing implications of the Covid-19 pandemic and prospects for economic recovery. This major annual survey draws on the perspectives of global and local CEOs. The UAE CEOs represent a significant portion of the economy — all represent companies with revenues higher than US$500 million and 28% of the companies have revenues higher than US$10 billion.

Key developments are focused on how today’s CEOs are plugged-in, people-first and purpose-led to grow their organizations and emerge stronger:

CEOs are optimistic, confident and expect aggressive growth through acquisitions and partnerships. They continue to put an emphasis on leading with purpose and a focus on digitally transforming their organizations, while upskilling an agile workforce in the new world of work.

With increased stakeholder expectations to invest in a more equitable and sustainable future, UAE organizations are beginning to formulate environmental, social and governance (ESG) strategies to stay true to their purpose.

With people returning to places of work, and society increasingly looking for business to lead, CEOs are recognizing employee demand for continued flexibility.

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