March 28, 2023

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How CEOs are managing tension in the face of recession

2 min read

When PwC surveyed over 4,400 CEOS from more than 100 countries and territories, it discovered that nearly 75% of the world’s top executives are expecting a drop in growth in 2023. But in the surveys conducted by PwC in the two years prior, there was a complete flip in perception. Three out of every four CEOs had expressed optimism. 

Today, CEOs are managing the tension that exists between short-term economic pain and the long-term mandate to transform to remain competitive. Nearly 40% of CEOs think their company won’t be economically viable in a decade if they continue with business as usual, according to PwC’s annual global CEO survey. 

“My advice: get your company fit for growth,” says Mohamed Kande, vice chair for U.S. consulting solutions and co-leader and global advisory leader at PwC, during Fortune’s CEO Leadership Series on Wednesday. “Do all the cost structuring that needs to be done and reinvest in growth. And that growth needs to be powered by technology. That will be the future.”

For more than a year, Federal Reserve officials have been fighting inflation and have consistently hiked interest rates in a bid to slow the economy to ease price increases. But policymakers are aiming to do so in a manner that would ideally result in a gentle or short term recession, or perhaps avoid an economic downturn completely. The strategy has thus far been fairly successful, with the U.S. seeing inflation lessen but economic growth still projected in 2023 by observers like the International Monetary Fund.

Glenn Fogel, CEO and president of online travel agency Booking Holdings, says his company must balance the macroeconomic environment with the future needs of his business. For, that’s largely focused on the acceleration of tech innovations, with Fogel pointing to the recent buzz surrounding A.I. and chatbot ChatGPT.

“You have to have the courage not to just look at the next quarter,” says Fogel. “Travel will…

John Kell

2023-02-01 19:05:00

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