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Global Practices

Record Decline in CEO Credibility

Record Decline in CEO Credibility

As government officials and CEOs become less a source of trusted information, people are once again turning to their peers.

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As trust in government experienced its biggest decline in Barometer history, so too did the credibility of its officials. Only 29 percent of those surveyed view them as credible. Government officials, whose 14-point drop is their largest in Barometer history, are now the least trusted spokespeople in the world.

In a separate look at how much the general population trusts government and business leaders to tell them the truth, government leaders resoundingly emerge as the less likely party to be transparent, with 46 and 27 percent, respectively, saying “I do not trust them at all”.

Business leaders were not immune to the increasing skepticism. The drop in trust in the credibility of CEOs in mature markets such as the U.S., UK/France/Germany and South Korea fell more than—or as dramatically as—it did when the recession hit in 2008-2009. Overall, CEO credibility dropped 12 points to 38 percent, its biggest drop in Barometer history.

As government officials and CEOs become less a source of trusted information, people are once again turning to their peers. “A person like me” has re-emerged as one of the three-most credible spokespeople, with its biggest increase in credibility since 2004. Seeing a similar rise in credibility is trust in regular employees, which jumped 16 points.  People now trust one another more than they do established institutions.

For more information, read the Executive Summary or the Global Results Presentation.

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