Marketing & Media |

The Social Executive: Socially active CEOs improve perception and credibility of Australian companies

The Social Executive: Socially active CEOs improve perception and credibility of Australian companies

Hootsuite study reveals companies with social executives perceived 23% more positively than those without.


SYDNEY - June 13, 2017 - Hootsuite, the most widely used platform for social media management, today releases a report, “The Social Executive: How to Influence Trust, Transparency, and the Bottom Line,” highlighting the impact of executive social media activity on the trust, perception and credibility of Australian companies.


With trust in chief executives at its lowest in recent years, research found that Australian companies led by CEOs who are active on social media - “social executives” - are perceived 23% more positively than companies without. This highlights the opportunity for executives to influence their organisation’s perception, build brand trust, and drive employee advocacy.


Analysing the social media behaviours of ASX200 chief executives across Australia and New Zealand, Hootsuite established a Digital Perception Index (DPI) to provide an indication of public sentiment towards a company, analysing more than 145,000 social posts from 1 October 2016 to 30 April 2017.  


Key Findings

  • Companies with social executives are perceived 23% more positively than those without

  • While 66% of ASX200 chief executives have a social media presence, only 10% are active on social media

  • 86% of Asia Pacific executives believe social CEOs have a positive impact on a company’s reputation, with 76% believing it enhances their credibility


Marketing Leadership: Partners to the Social Executive


Whilst Australian CEOs are ahead of their global counterparts, 34% of chief executives do not have any public social media presence. Those with trusted, capable communications counsel from their marketing leadership are better armed and ready to deploy and benefit from the strategic use of social media.


“Corporate reputation and business performance are increasingly dependent on social media. Social executives have more success inspiring employees, attracting new customers and talent, and building loyalty and trust,” said Rich Meiklejohn, General Manager, Asia Pacific, Hootsuite. “Having the support and involvement of all teams within an organisation is crucial to help executives build an active professional brand on social media channels.”



Leading by example: Australia’s top social executives


With customer engagements becoming increasingly more digital, traditional business models are changing and with it, the role and expectations of executives.


“Clients and business are being increasingly disrupted and we are all looking for new ideas and ways to address the business challenges we face. It’s a digital world and we are all connected so why not take advantage of it.” Cindy Hook, CEO, Deloitte Australia


Offering insights from some of Australia’s most identifiable and influential company leaders, Hootsuite’s report aims at changing attitudes of executives towards social media, and empowering marketing and communications leaders to drive this change.


For those looking to join the conversation, Hootsuite identified social executives that are harnessing the power of their own social media channels to build sentiment for the brands they lead.


Top Australian Social Executives (in alphabetical order):


Alex Malley CEO of CPA Australia, @AlexMalleyCEO

Andrew Penn CEO of Telstra, @Andy_Penn

Andrew Vessey CEO and MD of AGL, @AndyVesey_AGL

Cindy Hook CEO of Deloitte Australia, @Cindy_Hook

Geoff Lloyd CEO and MD of Perpetual Ltd, @GeoffvLloyd

Jon Sutton CEO of Bank of Queensland, @JonSutton_

Matt Barrie CEO of, @MattBarrie

Naomi Simson Founder and CEO of Red Balloon, @NaomiSimson

Paul Perreault CEO and MD of CSL

Shayne Elliott CEO at ANZ Bank, @ElliottShayne

Tim Reed CEO of MYOB, @TimReedMYOB



More Information:

Executive White Paper:

Media Kit:


About Hootsuite

Hootsuite is the most widely used social media management platform, used by over 15 million people around the globe and trusted by more than 800 of the Fortune 1000. Hootsuite's battle-tested technology, extensive ecosystem, and social DNA help organizations to champion the power of human connections at scale.  To learn more, visit


Ben Mulligan

Regional Marketing Leader (Australia & New Zealand) Hootsuite

+61 428 660 004



Darryn Lim

Mutant Communications for Hootsuite

+65 9007 1663