CEO Policy Roundtable Focuses on Coming Trends, Challenges

The Bay Area Council on Thursday (Sept. 8) hosted a CEO Roundtable discussion moderated by KPMG San Francisco Managing Partner Debbie Messemer that brought together Council CEO Jim Wunderman, Proterra CEO Ryan Popple, TriNet President and CEO Burton Goldfield,  and former BRE Properties CEO Connie Moore. The panel shared their insights on challenges they face and significant trends impacting companies today. The discussion centered around several key findings from KPMG’s U.S. CEO Outlook survey. Among the findings highlighted, U.S. CEOs believe that the next three years will be more critical for their industries than the past 50.

A stronger client focus, fostering innovation and talent development are the top three priorities for U.S. CEOs, while they see cyber security threats as the greatest risk. CEOs are most concerned about keeping up with new technologies, and customer loyalty, needs and expectations, though only 51 percent say they use data analytics to improve their products and services.  Despite these significant challenges, 98 percent of U.S. CEOs expect to increase headcount over the next three years, and they are incredibly optimistic about the prospects for growth of their companies.

The roundtable discussion underscored six key takeaways from KPMG’s CEO Outlook:

  • Companies need to be agile to stay ahead of disruption – every industry is impacted.
  • In today’s environment, CEOs must focus more attention on how they do business.
  • CEOs must be open to forming new alliances and partnerships or collaborative growth to succeed. It’s important to understand the dynamics between large and small companies to ensure a fruitful collaboration.
  • The client experience will become an even more important differentiator in the marketplace.
  • Leaders need to embrace change and look ahead to create a more intelligent, data-driven experience for their customers, their teams, and their partners.
  • CEOs can learn from Bay Area’s leading companies who tend to be more optimistic, use innovation and are prepared for transformation. The world looks to us for innovation.

The CEO panel discussion was attended by 80 Bay Area business and thought leaders.  For more information on BAC policy roundtables, contact Chief Business Officer Kirsten Vernon.

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