CEO Brand Report 2020 – A study on top CEOs in Singapore as brand communicators

The report revealed DBS’ Piyush Gupta to have the highest visibility among local media and Wilmar International’s CEO Kuok Khoon Hong as most favourably viewed.

3 minutes

CARMA ASIA, part of CARMA – the global leader in media intelligence, has released its annual CEO Brand Report measuring the visibility and favourability of Singapore’s top CEOs in local publications. Mirroring last year’s results, DBS’ CEO Piyush Gupta is once again the most visible CEO in local media. The 2020 report highlighted Wilmar International’s CEO Kuok Khoon Hong as most favourable.

DBS’ Piyush Gupta outperformed other CEOs in terms of volume of media mentions, as a result of his frequent communication around DBS’ efforts to navigate the COVID-19 crisis. Gupta also publicly spoke about the issues surrounding his citizenship status at the time of appointment as DBS’ CEO.

Other highlights from the study include:

  • Wilmar International’s CEO Kuok Khoon Hong was named as the CEO with the most favourable mentions, following the agribusiness group’s largest ever S$7m donation, as well as acknowledging that the business had continued to record positive performance in 2020
  • Singapore Airlines’ CEO, Goh Choon Phong was commended for being the first to publicly address the news surrounding SIA including staff layoffs and pay cuts, as well as their rapid response to the backlash following new initiatives such as the ‘Flight To Nowhere’ 
  • OCBC’s Samuel Tsien, UOB’s Wee Ee Cheong, and Singtel’s Chua Sock Koong also named among Singapore’s most visible CEOs for their prompt responses to the COVID-19 crisis, assurance of the companies’ financial positions and introduction of digital transformation initiatives to ensure their companies are able to weather the storm

Chart: Rankings of CEOs’ performance across mainstream & social media 


The CEO Brand Report 2020 examines both online and offline media using CARMA’s renowned proprietary favourability rating. Together with quantitative results, context and nuance were identified through its qualitative analysis capabilities, while eliminating subjectivity or relying on binary sentiment grades.

CARMA ASIA’s Managing Director, Andrew Nicholls, spoke about the importance of CEOs being vocal in a time of crisis. 


In a period that has shaken confidence, the pressure on CEOs to provide guidance and reassurance to shareholders, employees and customers has intensified. The report identifies how CEOs of Singapore’s top brands have distinguished themselves during a challenging year, while illustrating how in-depth communications analysis provides a strategic advantage to organisations navigating uncertainty.

Download the report here.

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