CEO Activism in 2018: Half of Americans Say CEO Activism Influences Government 

Weber Shandwick, in partnership with KRC Research, released CEO Activism in 2018: The Purposeful CEO. This survey is the third installment of Weber Shandwick’s CEO activism series, following The Dawn of CEO Activism (2016) and High Noon in the C-Suite (2017). This year’s report finds that nearly eight in 10 consumers (77 percent) agree that CEOs need to speak out when their company’s values are violated or threatened.

CEO Activism in 2018: Half of Americans Say CEO Activism Influences Government

Nearly half of Americans (48 percent) believe CEO activism influences the decisions and actions of government. This perceived influence on government has increased significantly since 2017 (38 percent). Democrats and Republicans alike see CEO activism as legislatively influential (54 percent and 51 percent, respectively), although Independents are less likely to agree (28 percent).


CEO activism positively influences purchasing decisions. Nearly half of consumers (46 percent) would be more likely to buy from a company led by a CEO who speaks out on an issue they agree with. Only 10 percent would be less likely to buy. This rate of positive purchasing behavior has risen significantly since 2017 (46 percent vs. 38 percent).


CEO Activism in 2018 provides recommendations to CEOs and their companies to consider when deciding how to approach CEO activism. View the report findings below or access as a PDF here. Click here to read a press release on the study.