Ipsos Reid

Ipsos Reid

January 26, 2005 06:00 ET

ATTRACTING & RETAINING EMPLOYEES MAJOR PRIORITY FOR CEOS

Majority Of Canadian CEOs (86%) Agree That Their Business Has What It Takes To Compete In The Global Marketplace Attention: Business/Financial Editor TORONTO, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - Jan. 26, 2005) - Looking ahead the priorities of Canada's CEOs have transformed quite a bit since last year, with a higher percentage of CEOs now pointing to "attracting and retaining high calibre employees" (+10) and "expanding into new products or services" (+9) as major priorities for their company, while fewer point to "increasing short-term profitability" (-2) and "ensuring trust from shareholders" (-6) as major priorities.

A strong majority of Canadian CEOs (86%) agree with the statement that "my business has what it takes to compete in the global marketplace". Only 11% disagree with this point of view.

And a majority of Canadian CEOs (63%) agree with the statement that "it is more important for my company to solidify in its current market than to expand into new markets". This is down slightly (-8) from the 71% of CEOs who agreed with this statement in 2003.

These are the findings from the Tenth Annual Canada's Most Respected Corporations Survey sponsored by KPMG and conducted by Ipsos-Reid. The survey was conducted between September and November, 2004. The survey involved interviews of 263 of the leading CEOs in Canada.

So, What Are The Upcoming Priorities For CEOs?

When asked to prioritize a series of issues that many companies may face as a major priority, a moderate priority, a minor priority, or no priority at all, we can identify some salient trends in Canada's business community.

Major Priorities For Their Company

When it look at the intensity of priorities for CEOs in 2004, we see that many more CEOs in 2004 than in 2003 are making the following a "major priority" for their company:

· "Attracting and retaining high calibre employees" (+10);
· "Expanding into new product or services" a major priority for their company (+9);
· "Risk Management" (+5); and
· "Expanding into new markets either inside or outside Canada" (+4).

And fewer CEOs in 2004 than in 2003 are making the following a "major priority" for their company:

· "Increasing short-term profitability" (-2); and
· "Ensuring trust from shareholders" (-6).

Overall Major And Minor Priorities For Their Company

When looking at which priorities are either major or minor for CEOs in compared to last year, we see that more in 2004 than in 2003 are making the following a priority for their company:

· "Expanding into new product or services" (+6);
· "Attracting and retaining high calibre employees (+4);
· "Increasing productivity and performance improvement" (+3); and
· "Risk management" (+3).

And fewer are making the following a priority for their company in 2004 than did in 2003:

· "Increasing short-term profitability" (-9);
· "Ensuring trust from shareholders" (-7); and
· "Growth through merger and acquisition" (-3).

Strong Majority Of CEOs (86%) Are Bullish About Competing In The Global Marketplace…

A strong majority of Canadian CEOs (86%) agree with the statement that "my business has what it takes to compete in the global marketplace" (40% "strongly agree", 46% "somewhat agree). Only 11% disagree with this point of view (9% "somewhat disagree", 2% "strongly disagree"), and 3% "don't know" if their company can compete.

CEOs Will Be Slightly Less Aggressive This Year…

A majority of Canadian CEOs (63%) agree with the statement that "it is more important for my company to solidify in its current market than to expand into new markets" (33% "strongly agree", 29% "somewhat agree). This is down slightly (-8 points) from the 71% of CEOs who agreed with this statement in 2003.

Meanwhile, one-third of CEOS (36%) disagree with this statement (9% "strongly disagree", 28% "somewhat disagree"), and the remaining 1% "don't know".

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For more information on this news release, please contact:

John Wright
Senior Vice President
Ipsos-Reid Public Affairs
(416) 324-2900

For full tabular results including 2004 Priorities vs. 2003 Priorities, please visit: http://www.ipsos-na.com/news/
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