We polled Fortune 500 CEOs to find out what they think about business, reading, and the workplace. Here's what they said:

By Fortune Editors
June 4, 2015

What are your company’s biggest challenges?*

1. The rapid pace of technological innovation 72%
2. Cyber security 66%
3. Increased regulation 61%
4. Shortage of skilled labor 34%
5. Management diversity 25%
6. Competition from a start-up 20%
7. Shareholder activism 20%
8. Competition from China/developing countries 4%

*Percent who answered either “single biggest challenge” or “one of our top three or four challenges.”

Who is your company’s most dangerous competitor?

1. Another Fortune 500 company 57%
2. A smaller established company 24%
3. An overseas competitor 16%
4. A recent startup 2%


CEOs on Leadership

Winston Churchill (Left) and Warren Buffet (Right)
Churchill: Carl Mydans—The Life Picture Collection/Getty Images; Buffett: Lucas Jackson—Reuters

•  94% of respondents agree with the statement “My company will change more in the next five years than it has in the last five years.”

•  84% agree with the statement “It would be easier to manage my company if it were a private company.

•  67% say a public company has equal responsibility to customers, shareholders, employees, and the broader community.

•  51% think it’s important to take a stand on some public issues.

•  82% plan to employ more people two years from now.

•  75% of CEOs believe CEOs are paid appropriately.

•  76% of respondents think society will benefit “if employees take responsibility for their own health care and retirement.”

•  80% of CEOs say they directly answer all or most of their email.

•  The average CEO has between four and 12 direct reports.

•  More than 60% of respondents believe that optimal tenure atop a Fortune 500 company is five to 10 years.


Favorite Books of CEOs

Courtesy of Harper Collins Publishers

Favorite book: Good to Great by Jim Collins
Runner up: Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell


Leader most respected by CEOs

Ullstein Bild—Getty Images

Winner: Ronald Reagan
Runners up: Winston Churchill and Warren Buffett (tie)


Most Admired CEOs (excluding themselves)

Tim Cook (Left) and Jamie Dimon
Cook: Stephen Lam/Getty Images; Dimon: Gary Cameron—Reuters

Winners: Tim Cook and Jamie Dimon (tie)

 

A shorter version of this article appears in the June 15, 2015 issue of Fortune with the headline ‘Fortune 500 CEO Survey.’

SPONSORED FINANCIAL CONTENT

You May Like