Over 2,750 chief executives from 110 countries weighed in on this critical business topic

New York, NY, 17 March 2020 – YPO, the global leadership community of more than 29,000 chief executives in 130 countries, conducted an all-member survey to get a snapshot of the business impact of COVID-19 and gain insight into actions chief executives are taking as a result of this new business reality.

This new YPO Chief Executive Global Survey, conducted 10-13 March 2020 and drawing over 2,750 respondents, found that most chief executives have already experienced a negative impact of COVID-19 on at least one aspect in their businesses, and many more chief executives anticipate things to get worse within the next six months before they get better. Key additional findings include:

  • Business travel (87%), new business development (62%), and revenues (58%) are the top three areas where most chief executives say they are currently experiencing the biggest impact of COVID-19.
    • Respondents in Asia* (84%), South Asia** (78%), MENA (74%) and Europe (70%) have already experienced the largest negative impact on revenues. Businesses in the Australia/New Zealand (52%), US (50%) and Canada (45%) have so far experienced the least impact on revenues.
    • Globally, only 36% of chief executives in the construction industry say they have seen an impact to revenues, while leaders in the hospitality/travel (89%), education (87%) and media/entertainment (80%) industries are the most likely to say they have seen an impact to revenues. However, 10% of sector-specific retail and wholesale leaders as well as leaders of production firms (agriculture, factories, mines and utilities) have reported they are seeing a positive impact to their revenues.
  • Almost all business leaders (82%) are expecting declines in revenues over the next six months, but one year from now, more than half (54%) expect no negative impact to revenues due to COVID-19.
    • Chief executives in countries with the highest numbers of reported COVID-19 cases are more likely to report expecting a more than 20% decrease in sales over the next year.
    • Sixty-one percent of chief executives expect their total fixed investments to remain unchanged year-over-year.
    • Seventy percent of respondents expect their businesses’ total number of employees to remain the same by this time next year. Businesses in MENA (33%), Europe (29%) and South Asia** (27%) are the most likely to expect a decrease while businesses in the US (20%) and Latin America (23%) are the least likely.
  • Ninety-five percent of leaders report taking action in response to COVID-19. These actions include communicating more regularly with employees (68%), adopting new health and safety procedures (67%), cancelling major events (64%), and halting business travel (53%).
    • This new environment has also driven chief executives to shift short-term goals (32%), research new business innovations (28%), and make changes to their supply chains (18%).
  • Chief executives, when asked for their open-ended advice for fellow leaders, shared this is a time to stay calm, focus on facts, continue to communicate regularly with employees and other key stakeholders, anticipate and make plans for both the short and long term, and stabilize supply chains.

YPO Chief Executive Global Survey on the Business Impact of COVID-19 Methodology:
The YPO Chief Executive Global Survey on the Business Impact of COVID-19 was conducted by YPO from 10-13 March 2020 via an online questionnaire. A total of 2,754 YPO members responded to the survey. The members in this sample are representative of the larger YPO population, come from 110 different countries, and range in age from 25-93. Roughly half of survey respondents are from the United States. The margin of sampling error is plus or minus 1.8 percentage points at the 95 percent confidence level.

*Asia includes Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Republic of Korea, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam.

**South Asia includes India, Nepal and Sri Lanka.

About YPO:
YPO is the global leadership community of more than 29,000 chief executives in 130 countries who are driven by the belief that the world needs better leaders. Each of our members have achieved significant leadership success at a young age. Combined, they lead businesses and organizations contributing USD 9 trillion in annual revenue. YPO members inspire and support each other through peer learning and exceptional experiences in an inclusive community of open sharing and trust. For more information, visit ‪ypo.org.

YPO Media Contacts:
Amy Zelvin Reid, areid@ypo.org, +1 646 678 0575
Angela Mers, amers@ypo.org, +1 415 298 8534