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Reproduced from PwC; Chart: Axios Visuals

Businesses have moved beyond the initial shock and crisis management phase of the coronavirus pandemic, and are shifting their focus to fundamental changes that will reshape their companies, according to the latest survey of top corporate executives from accounting firm PwC.

What it means: While executives say they are concerned about things like bringing workers back into the office, cybersecurity and investments, right now "there is a very common theme around revenue generation going forward that we're seeing dominate the C-Suite," PwC chair and senior partner Tim Ryan said during a call with reporters Monday.

  • For an increasing number of companies, the goal seems to have changed from growing the overall revenue base to taking market share from competitors, as the pandemic is expected to depress spending broadly.
  • Corporate leaders are looking to redraw their workforces and cut costs as they expect to be "fighting for a bigger piece of a smaller pie."

What we're hearing: "There’s a sense that 'We’re settled in, the environment’s going to be challenging for a while but we can compete,'" Ryan said. "It’s going to shape up for an interesting, let’s call it, six to 18 months of fairly intense competition."

The big picture: Companies are simultaneously focusing on long-term strategies, many of which include terms like "digital transformation" and "automation" that are generally code for replacing human workers with machines.

  • These trends had long been in the works, but with uncertainty growing about global supply chains and the availability of cheap overseas goods and labor, top executives look to be pushing to accelerate them.

The bottom line: "One thing CFOs and executive teams are very focused on is fundamental changes in the business model and we’re seeing that move at a rate that, frankly, we’ve never seen before," Ryan said.

Go deeper

Companies are leaving jobs behind to cut costs

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Businesses are positioning themselves for an increasingly competitive landscape by doing everything they can to ramp up productivity and cast off excess costs.

Why it matters: Much of that cost savings will likely come from cutting jobs and adding new ones more slowly, as companies look to invest in new technology and what Carlyle Group's head of global research Jason Thomas calls intangibles.

29 mins ago - Health

Pfizer begins clinical trial for Omicron-specific COVID vaccine

A health worker in Palestine preparing a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech's coronavirus vaccine on Jan. 24. Photo: Majdi Fathi/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Pfizer and BioNTech announced Tuesday that they have started clinical trials for a reformulated vaccine to protect against the Omicron coronavirus variant.

Why it matters: The rise of the Omicron variant has forced vaccine makers to reassess the effectiveness of their vaccines.

Retail stock traders power stunning comeback after deep selloff

Illustration: Megan Robinson/Axios

Stocks staged a Patrick Mahomes-esque comeback Monday, after plunging for the first few hours of trading.

Why it matters: The remarkable recovery suggests that retail traders who upended markets over the last year — most notably during the GameStop bonanza that occurred almost exactly a year ago — continue to be powerful influence in the markets.