CxO Priorities 2021

In the course of the Alfa Consulting and Horv├íth & Partners CxO Priorities Study 2021, personal interviews were conducted with executive board members regarding their mid- to long-term strategic priorities. In addition to a quantitative assessments, open questions were asked that provide qualitative insights and opinions.

Focus topics of the interviews:

  • Expected sales development
  • Strategic management priorities
  • Structural cost changes
  • Satisfaction with political crisis management
  • Learnings in the digital transformation
  • Impact of industry-specific market and technology trends

250 executive board members from various industries participated in this study. The interviews were conducted personally in virtual sessions between May and June this year. The personal interview approach ensures the high validity of results and deep insights into assessments, opinions and priorities of the business leaders interviewed.

General Study Information

Management Summary

Key Findings

  • Digital transformation remains the single most important priority for CxOs
  • Ecological sustainability has gained importance and is second in line of the top priorities. Sustainable business models are here to stay
  • From a corporate perspective, the crisis for global companies is effectively over. 2 out of 3 CxOs expect sales to return to pre-crisis level by the end of the year. This is also reflected in the predicted sales development of 2021-2022
  • Therefore, top executives have deprioritized initiatives to improve the liquidity in comparison to last year. The worst fears of liquidity shortages did not materialize
  • Corporate diversity & inclusion has not been as much of a focus as expected. Surprisingly, it is no strategic priority for CxOs
  • Structural cost changes in various administrative functions and in Sales & Marketing were expected as a response to the crisis. Surprisingly, we cannot observe significant changes. Exceptions are budget increases in IT and R&D
  • Realignment of pricing and revenue models has become more important for top decision makers over the past year. Reasons might be the increasing demand, scarcity of raw materials and a growing interest in pay-per-X systems

We asked top executives about their expected Sales Development

  • All sectors expect growth in 2021
  • After a big decline in 2020, the Transport, Travel & Logistics industry is experiencing a drastic rise of 21% in 2022
  • The Automotive industry expects the biggest upwards trend in 2021 after a relatively poor 2020
  • Insurance as well as Life Science & Medical Technology were the only two sectors with significant positive sales development in 2020

To know more about this topic, contact us at: [email protected]