London: CEOs may officially be the public face of their companies, but a new study has revealed that a number of employees cannot pick theirs out in a crowd if they had to. The survey on senior leadership from CareerBuilder found that 40 per cent of workers have never even met their business' CEO, and 21 per cent don't know what the top boss looks like.

Employees in business services, sales and manufacturing are most likely to have met their CEO, while a majority of workers in IT, financial services and retail say they have not met their organization's top leader, according to the study.

Knowledge of the organizational chart falls off significantly after the CEO, with only 35 per cent of employees able to name all of the C-level officers at their organization.

Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources at CareerBuilder, said C-suite leadership can be a difficult balance. "They need to find a level of accessibility that allows them to connect with employees, while on the other hand, dedicate the necessary time for building relationships with outside stakeholders," Haefner said.

"Employees realize their top leaders can't know everyone on a first-name basis, but they do expect their leaders to be a public symbol that embodies the organization's values," Haefner added. The research was based on surveys of more than 7,700 full-time employees.


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