Jan 31, 2024 - Business

Millions are reading about CEOs' return-to-office policies

Data: Memo; Chart: Axios Visuals
Data: Memo; Chart: Axios Visuals

Readers are most curious to know what CEOs think about return-to-office policies, AI and societal issues, finds a new report from media monitoring platform Memo.

Why it matters: All of these topics are polarizing and CEOs are unlikely to want to discuss them in detail.

By the numbers: More than 22 million people read news stories about CEOs' return-to-office policies in 2023, according to Memo's findings.

  • Social issues — which include environmental, social and governance strategies, diversity and inclusion, and corporate Pride month initiatives — were the second most-read topic among CEO news, followed by leadership style and advice pieces.
  • Readers were three times more likely to read a CEO thought leadership piece about AI than any other topic.
  • And CEO profiles saw the least amount of reader interest, according to the study.

Yes, but: Some CEO narratives did capture the public's attention.

  • Roughly 2 million readers followed Ford CEO Jim Farley's three-day trip in an electric F-150 pickup truck; more than 760,000 read about Starbucks CEO Laxman Narasimhan's experience working as a barista for six months; and roughly 385,000 read about Brian Chesky's experiment of living in various Airbnb rental properties for half the year.

What they're saying: Reader interest is shifting when it comes to executive visibility and thought leadership topics, says Memo's head of insights Allison Horton.

  • "For years, executives were expected to weigh in on their vision, the state of their industry, the trends emerging in their space. Now we see the public cares more about hearing from companies and CEOs about the cultural and societal issues."

Go deeper ... read Memo's entire state of media report.

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