Alan Joyce “most mentioned” Australian CEO in 2021 across news and social media

Qantas CEO Alan Joyce was the most talked-about corporate leader in Australia according to analysis by media intelligence platform Meltwater. Data from billions of news stories and social media conversations found that the airline CEO came out far ahead of all other ASX leaders.

In total, Alan Joyce generated 108,000 mentions across traditional news sites and social media. These included international publications, as well as Australian news outlets such as MSN Australia, The Australian, The Courier Mail and the Herald Sun.

Hot topics associated with Alan Joyce’s name included “international borders”, “city lockdowns” and “vaccines”.

A key driver for the increase in positive sentiment towards Alan Joyce was the announcement that Qantas would enter fully vaccinated frequent flyers into the running to win a year’s worth of flights, accommodation and fuel. Negative coverage peaked on August 3rd with the announcement that Qantas would be standing down 2500 staff members.

“For a second year of major travel disruptions, with the air travel industry hardest hit by COVID, it’s no wonder that all eyes were still on Australia’s biggest airline,” says David Hickey, Executive Director, APAC for Meltwater. “While mentions saw a slight dip from 2020, our sentiment scoring model rated coverage as  75% better than last year. We can expect to see continued eyes on Alan Joyce and Qantas next year as borders open up and international travel begins its recovery.” 

Other CEOs creating a buzz in 2021 included mining giants Rio Tinto and BHP, with Rio’s Jacob Stausholm and BHP’s Mike Henry also making the top five.

Another much-talked-about leader was Rob Scott of Wesfarmers. He was associated with topics such as “lockdown”, “economy”, “vaccinations” and “customers”.

“Bunnings and Officeworks, both owned by Wesfarmers, were among the few stores able to stay open during the pandemic lockdowns, providing vital home and business supplies to remote-working Australians,” said Hickey.

Rounding up the top five most-mentioned CEOs was Steve McCann of Crown Resorts. “Casino” was the top buzzword, along with “hospitality sector”, “gaming group”, “Royal Commission” and “new chief executive”. McCann was only appointed to the job in June 2021.

“CEOs are increasingly becoming ‘famous figures’ in their own right. Some of the world’s top CEOs, such as Elon Musk and Bill Gates, attract as much news coverage as any A-list Hollywood actor or popstar. A CEO’s brand and visibility can be extremely valuable for an organisation, generating huge publicity and establishing companies as cultural icons,” Hickey says.

Australia’s Top Five most talked about CEOs of 2021 

1. Alan Joyce, Qantas CEO

2. Jakob Stausholm, Rio Tinto

3. Mike Henry, BHP CEO

4. Rob Scott, Wesfarmers CEO

6. Steve McCann, Crown Resorts CEO

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