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CEOs remain optimistic in the face of Omicron

January 20, 2022, 12:01 PM UTC

Good morning.

Fortune has a new CEO survey out this morning, conducted in partnership with Deloitte. It was fielded from Jan. 4 to 12, so after Omicron was in full flower. And what’s particularly interesting is how optimistic the CEOs were in spite of the variant. Some 65% expected their organization’s growth to be “strong” or “very strong” over the next 12 months, with technology, finance, professional services, and health care companies expressing the most optimism (83%, 76%, 75% and 67%, respectively), while retail and consumer product CEOs were least optimistic (46%).

The battle for talent is still very much top of mind for CEOs. Asked what external issues could disrupt their business over the course of the year, the labor and skills shortage got the most mentions by CEOs (71%), followed by the pandemic (56%), supply chain disruption (46%), and inflation and financial market instability (36%). Less highly ranked were cybersecurity risks (25%), geopolitical instability (22%) and ideological polarization (10%).

The survey also asked CEOs to rank the roles in their organization most important to their success. CFOs got the most mentions (66%), followed by business unit leaders (55%), Chief Operations Officer (45%), Chief Talent/HR Officer or equivalent (41%), Chief Information or Technology Officer (31%), Chief Marketing Officer (17%), Chief Strategy Officer (15%) and Chief Legal Counsel (10%). 

The survey was answered by 175 CEOs, of whom 85% were based in the U.S. 

More news below. And apologies this morning to all the Illini who pointed out my misspelling yesterday of Urbana-Champaign.

Alan Murray
@alansmurray

alan.murray@fortune.com

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This edition of CEO Daily was edited by David Meyer.

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