Update 2016-01-17: WEF Davos 2016: Top 100 CEO bloggers

: We rank the top management-level bloggers.
We also discuss, why Sheryl Sandberg and Eric Schmidt could ask Marissa Mayer for some blogging ADVICE

This is the second blog post about WEF Davos 2015 (see WEF Davos # 1: Benchmarking efforts).

PS. 2015-01-25 ==> Don’t forget to scroll all the way down and read the comments ==> Peter Brabeck-Lethmathe blog, etc.. See Peters data for his blog.
Another DrKPI Benchmark: Top 100 Style Bloggers in Deutschland

Of course, the World Economic Forum provides CEOs with a great platform to push their pet projects. Eric Schmidt will talk about his Google Search and #endtrafficking project. We all hope that it will continue to be refined and improved, contrary to what happened with the #bigdata one on Google Flu Trends or earthquake monitoring.

One of CEOs’ most common and valuable skills is burnishing their own profile, so many love mixing with world leaders at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland. Folks like Yahoo’s Marissa Mayer have even managed to cultivate an image as a fashionista, hanging out with Anna Wintour, editor of American Vogue – although she’s definitely not in Davos.

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Who blogs?

What is of interest, of course, is who uses these social media tools – besides the technophiles – so we did a quick tally. Here are some current and former head honchos attending Davos that are regular bloggers:

Marissa Mayer, President and Chief Executive Officer of Yahoo is probably the most famous blogger.
– Bill Gates has a very interesting blog (cf. Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation blog),
Jim Yong Kim has his own blog at the World Bank,
Winnie Byanyima blogs on Oxfam’s site, and
– Guy Ryder blogs about three times a year on the International Labour Organization (ILO) Blog.

Sheryl Sandberg‘s effort with her book and association Lean In is admirable. However, her last guest post on the organization’s blog appears to have created limited resonance with readers and members.

Eric Schmidt‘s latest guest post on Google’s Europe blog dates from September 2014. In it, he explains why he finds European publishers’ complaints about search results unjust.

Some tech luminaries attending the WEF are not active on the web. For instance, Jimmy Wales from Wikipedia has a latest blog entry that dates from 2012.

Others try a bit, or give up in between. We have a few examples below.

Satya Nadella last tweeted in July 2010, until he re-started in February 2014. Not a Twitter lover, is he? The stories about him on the official Microsoft blog seem a bit bland.

His tweets have become less authentic and kind of vetted since he became CEO

Since he became CEO of Microsoft, his tweets seem vetted and have become less authentic.

Of course there are a few more CEOs who either start using Twitter or become active again once they become CEO, such as Mary Barra (General Motors).

Other business stars attending Davos neither blog nor use social media:

Katherine Garrett-Cox,
Hari S Bartia,
– Roberto Egydio Setubal and
Patrick Pouyanné.

Some corporate websites require one to do some real diggin in order to find the dirt or information on the CEO. Other CEOs have even managed to make it near-impossible to find their bio anywhere online.

Quiz: Do you know when Richard Edelmann started blogging? Find out below!

Ranking CEO (top management) bloggers for WEF Davos

Of course, it would be interesting to know whether those CEOs attending Davos who blog do well in comparison.

A few bloggers have created their own ‘who to follow’ lists. Unfortunately, most of these are not for blogs. Others use Klout to rank CEOs on social media. But your Klout score suffers from two problems:

1. The score is real-time instead of cumulative. You must constantly tweet or your score plummets. Is that measuring influence? Not so much.

2. How the scores are put together is anyone’s guess. How one can use this score to hire a speaker, employee or trainee is a mystery to me.

CLICK on IMAGE - DrKPI - Top 100 CEO bloggers.

For this reason we publish our DrKPI Benchmark: Top 100 CEO Bloggers (find more on the website).

There are various things we can learn about these CEOs’ blogging style, such as:

1. Does the manager get some type of reader engagement  (e.g., comments AND author replies)?
2. Does this published content create resonance on the Internet in the form of social sharing?

We discuss some of the data we collected for CEOs attending WEF 2015, as well as others.

Conversation is not easy

The map below shows that conversation levels for the CEO blogs that we analyzed are relatively low. Few CEOs get reader comments, some do not even allow them. If they do, the comments are often very short. In 93 percent of the cases, the CEO blogger does not reward a reader comment with a reply.

Of course, we all know that a conversation happens only if we do not try to monopolise it. Instead, we need to listen, as well as reply to the other person. Without listening, we do not have a conversation, but a monologue.

The US, Sweden, Netherlands, and UK have some of the lowest levels of conversation going for these CEO blogs. France, Italy and India do much better.


Do CEOs have a dialogue with readers?
CEO Bloggers in Argentina, NL, UK, US = where is the conversation? German, Italian, Spanish CEOs do better.
French CEOs do great – Chapeau

As the above graphic shows (see also below), many management bloggers have difficulty with engaging their readers in a conversation. However, some – like Marissa Mayer – do not even enable comments. All one can do is like the post.

As the map below illustrates, in Germany, content from CEO blogs is rarely if ever shared (blue color). Brazilian and Indian counterparts do better with getting their content shared on social networks such as Pinterest or Twitter.


CEO content rarely if ever creates a ripple on social networks!
German readers do not really share CEO blog content; Canadians and French are little better.
In Brazil, Australia, India, Saudi Arabia, South Africa such content at least gets shared a bit.

Nevertheless, the above illustrates that social sharing of blog content from CEOs is limited in comparison to fashion blogs, for instance.

The table below is of interest insofar as most CEO blogs seem to struggle with achieving reader engagement. There are remarkable exceptions, however, such as:

# 1 – Richard Branson, Virgin – Score 75
# 4 – Dallas Mavericks owner Mark CubanScore 100
# 5 – Heidi Cohen (micro business) – Score 63
# 8 – Marissa Mayer, Yahoo! – Score 47 (just from likes, since she does not allow comments!)
# 12 – Brad Feld, Foundry Group – Score 65
# 14 – Elon Musk, Tesla Motors – Score 68

The top score is 100 in each sub-category (see above list of CEOs – Resonance and Influence). Below I show you the complete list of TOP 100 CEO BLOGGERS.

Top 100 CEO Bloggers - List Overview - Who wins, hands down? Richard Branson!

Bottom line

Recently I read a note by Robert Scoble:

Someday I might come back to the blog, but the world has moved and it is on social media.”

We might disagree about this. For starters, Facebook and Twitter all represent fenced gardens. Accordingly, the provider makes the rules. You abide by them or you must leave. Moreover, since many CEO blogs get much of their traffic from search engines, going to Facebook might not be the solution.

What works for Mr Scoble with his chatty and funny style, may flop for CEOs. As well, social networks come and go (remember Second Life, Baboo and others, all extinct or a shadow of their previous selves). Therefore, the corporate website and / or blog is still a more viable alternative. You set the rules and decide what gets posted. Plus, you keep the copyright.

However, when you decide to blog as a manager, please do these three things:

[su_box title=”CEO bloggers: Ropes to Skip” box_color=”#ff9900″ title_color=”#ffffff”]

1. Write your own blog entries: By all means, let an editor go over it. But your voice is the one that readers want to read, not your assistant’s!

2. Don’t think you are special: What you share in your blog or on Twitter should matter to your target audience! I, for one, do not care that you rode the train to and from WEF Davos, honest.

3. Dialogue is not monologue: If nobody responds and comments, how do you know anybody cares about your content? If they do, respond politely, and ADD value. And yes, getting comments is hard (don’t I know it).

Do you agree with these points? Write a comment below to have your say, and please join the conversation!


Quiz Answer: Richard Edelman started bloggin in September 2004, and is still going strong! We could share a few insights about his blogging style and what he might want to improve after 10 years. Next time… :-)

Embed the Badge of Top 100 CEO Bloggers

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CLICK on IMAGE - DrKPI - Top 100 CEO bloggers.
For instance, DrKPI helps you find the right set of benchmarks to ensure best practice in your corporation.

Join the 3,000+ organizations using the DrKPI Blog Benchmark to double reader comments in a few months while increasing social shares by 50 percent – register now!

Benchmark and test your blog – for free – right now

Please: I am asking for your help

1. Who is your favourite CEO blogger? Let us know in the comments below!
2. Do you read a CEO blog that stimulates great engagement?
3. What other blog should we add to our list of 1,000 top management blogs (just add the link below, we do the rest).

Thanks so much for being willing to share your insights!

19 replies
  1. Eric-Oliver Mächler
    Eric-Oliver Mächler says:

    “Someday I might come back to the blog, but the world has moved and it is on social media.”

    I believe this quote is not smart. In fact, I would think it is the stupidest thing I have read in a long long time.

    While Scoble may be a guru in the US regarding social media, this quote makes him come across as one of the #neuland or newbies to social media.
    Does he prefer playing in a fenced garden like Facebook, or is in it for the long haul?

    • Urs E. Gattiker
      Urs E. Gattiker says:

      Dear Eric

      Thanks so much for your comment here.

      Well, Robert Scoble sells himself and Rackspace. He has been known to recomment the use of certain tools in the past. But some of these are gone today

      I don’t think that Facebook will be gone quick. Nevertheless, having a conversation on Facebook is a bit hard.
      Imagine talking about your marketing strategy or financial results in a Facebook post. Maybe in a Facebook note…. but will anybody find it in a month whilst searching?

      For corporate communication: Facebook is a flash in the pan…. it takes a few hours max and then its history.
      Effective right now to reach people (maybe – but 0.03 of your followers see your post… not highly effective, is it?).
      But in a day or two nobody will find it on your Facebook any longer!
      In fact, if you search and it is a Note on Facebook (not a post) one can usually find it… but Google Plus lists higher (of course :-) )
      ===> https://plus.google.com/+UrsEGattiker/posts/UimXZyMumfX (example of a shitstorm on Facebook)

      I urge blogging CEOs to continue blogging. If need be, have a ghostwriter (but the good ones are expensive). Most important, make sure you come across as real…
      SEE Bill Gates who has more resonance on his own social media activity than his foundation with its blog, etc.

      People want the real thing and not a carbon copy. That is true, even if it is not perfect (typos on Bill Gates’ blog, for instance).
      Even if you have a great ghostwriter, Presidents like Reagan or Obama come across best to the TV audience, if they share off the cuff remarks…
      But these were not part of the script they had to read from :-). Surely, their ghostwriters are pros…. but the real thing is always better!

      Eric thanks for sharing.

      • Eric-Oliver Mächler
        Eric-Oliver Mächler says:

        Dear Urs
        OK, yes of course Scoble is a great salesman, BUT

        To be a great Salesman, has nothing to to with understanding what social media and blogs are.

        Btw: I never said that Facebook will soon disappear.
        I just meant to communicate that what is the difference betwee blogs and social media?
        For me, blogs are part of social media and not a complete other thing….
        What about you, Urs?

        • Urs E. Gattiker
          Urs E. Gattiker says:

          Lieber Eric
          I am not sure but I believe both Facebook and Blogs are part of the social media space.

          We probably also agree that both can foster a dialog. Although on Facebook, dialogs are bursts of words strung together… that do not always make sense to the uninitiated (i.e. abbreveations, slang, etc.).

          So you and I agree that they are both part of social media and not completely different things.
          However, I still believe long-term your own webpage or blog makes much more sense then a Facebook page.

          Have a great weekend.

  2. Gerry
    Gerry says:

    I have one Blog that is missing.

    Peter Brabeck-Letmathe from Nestlé has a “Water Challenge” blog.

    The link is: http://www.water-challenge.com/default.aspx

    I think it is styled a bit funny, like the writing not being for online reading… neither headlines / titles nor bold text. But it has interesting and sometimes quite personal material.
    Maybe you should put it in Urs.

    • Urs E. Gattiker
      Urs E. Gattiker says:

      Dear Gerry

      What a great example you pointed me to.
      Thanks so much for putting forward this blog. I surely did not know about the one from Peter Brabeck-Letmathe, Chairman Nestlé SA.

      I find his motto particularly interesting as taken from his frontpage, namely: “Welcome
      I hope this blog will create discussion about the important issue of water use and availability around the world.
      Your comments and views are very important and I encourage you to help me build and develop the conversation.”

      Most importantly, he is trying really hard to do what he wants, get the conversation going. In turn, he answers almost EACH comment left by a reader. His style is clearly personable and unlikely written by an assistant.

      See: Water overuse

      Your comments and views are very important and I encourage you to help me build and develop the conversation. Peter Brabeck-Letmathe

      I find this very impressive. Also who comments on the blog of course. This man is having some kind of influence, would you not agree :-) But who is surprised.

      A few things could be done better, I tell him what next time I have the privilege of meeting Petzer Brabeck-Lethmathe again. Or we do it over the phone :-)

      Thanks Gerry for pointing this one out to me. And to all other readers, please keep these blog URLs coming, I will enter them all into our database.

      • Urs E. Gattiker
        Urs E. Gattiker says:

        Dear Gerry

        To make this obvious why I like this blog – probably like you do :-) is that Peter Brabeck-Lethmathe leads by example.
        He wants engagement from his readers. But as our data show, without answering readers’ questions or comments, how can you expect them to ever come back and do it again?

        So he takes the time to answer each comment he gets.
        His blog also illustrates nicely, that if you want to do blogging the right way, it takes time. In other words, blogging effectively is not scalable….
        Take the time. If you do not, things come across stilted or vetted (see Microsoft CEO’s tweets ullustrating this problem). If you are no longer authentic, however, readers will loose interest.

        Also if you fail to answer reader comments, the chances are that they will not come back and try again. Instead, Peter Brabeck-Lethmathe shows that he values their engagement, rewarding them with a thoughtful answer.

        Keep on trucking Peter !
        Do not talk about it is Peter Braceck Lethmathe's motto... move from broadcasting to engagement... lead by example.

  3. Urs E. Gattiker
    Urs E. Gattiker says:

    Here is another WEF Davos CEO that blogs, at least regularly on the ONE CEO – Dave Elliott.

    He blogs from time-to-time about issues of interest to the ONE campaign (a not-for-profit group) addressing issues of concerns to Africa. As the Twitter account states:

    “ONE is a campaigning and advocacy organization of more than 6 million people taking action to end extreme poverty & preventable disease, particularly in Africa.

    Dave Elliott – the benchmark report

    Here is a screenshot.
    Blogging to reach out for the ONE campaign

    • Urs E. Gattiker
      Urs E. Gattiker says:

      Here are the data for Peter Brabeck-Lethmathe‘s Blog – the Chairman of Nestlé

      The Water Challenge

      What the numbers show is that it is moving upward (see top charts – use above link). But there is room for improvement. He needs to look at our weekly performance report for his blog and he gets the tips that he can easily put into practice.

      The Water Challenge Blog - how well does it engage its readers? The numbers.

    • Urs E. Gattiker
      Urs E. Gattiker says:


      Thanks so much for this interessting link for Christine Lagarde’s blog entries on the IMF staff blog.
      Of course, we should not have forgotten to include that one. But currently, this is how it happens:

      1. People add their blog themselves. But in the case of CEOs this happens rarely but it does. Two did from WEF Davos itself after we posted something on Twitter.
      2. People like you provide us with the link by e-mailing or via a commentary like you did here.
      3. I come across one of these blogs and enter it.

      Once it is entered we still have to look if the data is collected correctly by our crawlers. Some hard work that sometimes is when things do not get back to us 100% accurate. Then we have to tweak these crawlers… :-)

      Here is the blog link for Christine Lagard’s blog entries – just click

      I will let you know as soon as we have data from this blog. Thanks

  4. Private Vouchers
    Private Vouchers says:

    Dear DrKPI

    I am really glad to read this blog post. Interesting to see how CEOs who attend WEF Davos blog.

    Some do it better, some do it worse. What surprises me is how few of them get reader comments.
    Do you care to guess what might be the reasons for this?

    Thanks for providing such statistics.

    • Urs E. Gattiker
      Urs E. Gattiker says:

      Dear Laurie

      Thanks for stopping by and writing a comment. I am not sure how I should answer you here. But here are my five cents:

      1. Overnewsed and underinformed: People browse things but do not take the time to read an entry fully…. so commenting is dropping.

      2. Fewer comments with corporate blogs: Commenting on these type of blogs was low and is becoming lower. Why? Possibly that people have discovered that engaging with one’s better or having a dialog with the CEO is less fun that it once was.
      PS. If there is a comment so rarely, CEOs fail to reply. The Néstlé example above is a laudable exception.

      3. An authentic story is a must: People want interesting material in a personal voice. Sometimes CEO and corporate blogs are not personable at all. Instead corporate speak is the norm and everything is vetted by corporate communication and the compliance office. These texts are often about the company and product but fail to address problems clients care about from the CEOs perspective.

      Laurie, I hope this is a partial answer at least to your question. Thanks for reading.

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