Forum Topics How company CEOs are seeing things
3 weeks ago

CEO Insights - Week Ending 2 April 2021 By NAOS Asset Management


“Cyber security has to be high on the agenda for any listed company. If you’ve got something at stake, you’re a target. Every company on the ASX is utterly dependent on technology, but how many of these boards are ensuring that the risks are understood and appropriately responded to?” Aidan Tudehope, MD, Macquarie Telecom Group Ltd

“For the larger and more complicated enterprise deals, being face-to-face for some of that sales cycle, as well as the implementation will [continue] to have some degree of importance” Phil Snow, CEO, FactSet Research Systems Inc

Commercial Property

“Data centre demand is pushing industrial land prices up across the country” Cameron Grier, ANZ Industrial & Logistics Director, CBRE Group

Residential Property

“There is definitely a sense of buyers having a fear of missing out as they know prices are rising” Dan White, MD, Ray White Group

“It [current property market] is a bit different from what we’ve seen in the past. It hasn’t made investors come in and speculate and increase prices. This has all been about owner-occupiers. It is supply-and-demand driven as opposed to anything else” George Frazis, CEO, Bank of Queensland Ltd

“Trying to control prices through taxes and what not, sometimes it works sometimes it doesn’t. I’d lean to more supply, to me if you have a supply/demand issue, let’s see how you can do that by increasing supply” Peter King, CEO, Westpac Banking Corporation

Payments & Lending

“We are watching for a deterioration in lending standings, and that’s not evident at this point. That is not to say it won’t emerge, but it’s not obvious at this point” Wayne Byres, Chairman, Australian Prudential Regulation Authority [APRA]

Food & Beverage

“Our projections show that Australian non-food online retailing has more than five years of growth in 11 months. Non-food retail sales hit $2.1bn in January 2021, which would have taken until April 2025 in line with the pre-COVID-19 growth trajectory” Vanessa Brennan, Partner, Retail, Consumer and Digital Consulting, PricewaterhouseCoopers


“Australia, right now, we don't have a great statistic from the country, but my guess is that Australia is probably processing less than 100,000 cattle per week, has been this way since last quarter. It's not new, and the normal would be 140,000” Andre Nogueira, CEO, JBS Inc. [world’s largest beef processor]

“Farm condition or ranch condition in Australia is extremely good and they received even more rain this week pretty much all over the place...So we're going to continue to see a very strong retention and rebuild of the [cattle] herds in Australia” Andre Nogueira, CEO, JBS Inc. [world’s largest beef processor]

Energy & Resources

“What sometimes gets lost is that when you look at the resource sector in Australia, it has an economic impact locally but that is tenfold regionally. Don’t underestimate how significant an impact Australia played in allowing China’s economy to continue to rebound like it did, to be able to allow Japan and other regional economies to sustain themselves like they did [during COVID]” Al Williams, CEO, Chevron Australia

Tourism & Leisure

“The car rental shortage is a critical problem but at the moment there’s not much we can do about it” Luke Martin, CEO, Tourism Industry Council of Tasmania


“What we’re seeing in the UK is that drivers are saving money by going electric. It’s more cost-effective for us to provide an EV vehicle and more cost-effective for the driver. We’re starting to see that come into Australia now too, and one of the biggest drivers is that the cost of EVs is coming down. A lot of that is driven by the decrease in the price of batteries and the price of battery packs” Chris King, CEO, Splend [global car leasing operator to Uber drivers]

“Deloitte estimate that the CAGR, the compound annual growth rate for global EV growth sales will be around 29% over the next 10 years” John Chen, CEO, BlackBerry Limited [BlackBerry is now a car software provider]

Clothing & Textiles

“Pre-COVID, there was already an unprecedented amount of change taking place in the apparel industry driven mostly by technology and the consumer, which the pandemic only accelerated. The new normal will not be a static state, rather an ever-increasing rate of change” Stefan Larsson, CEO, PVH Corporation [international clothing conglomerate/owner of brands inc. Van Heusen, Tommy Hilfiger & Calvin Klein]

“The trends that existed before the pandemic are even more important now and will only continue to grow post the pandemic. For example, people wanting to live an active and healthy lifestyle combined with the growth in demand for technical athletic apparel that performs, and finally, the innate need to feel part of a community and to share a human connection with one another” Calvin McDonald, CEO, Lululemon Athletica Inc

“Having been present there [manufacturing clothing] for more than 30 years, we have witnessed remarkable progress within the Chinese textile industry. Being at the forefront of innovation and technology, China will clearly continue to play an important role in further developing the entire industry” Helena Helmersson, CEO, Hennes & Mauritz AB [parent company of H&M clothing stores]

International Education

“As a sector [ESL – English as a Second Language] that’s 100 per cent reliant on foreign nationals, we’re seeing other sectors like aviation and tourism being singled out [for COVID relief], but nothing dedicated for our sector at the moment, which is really disturbing” Brett Blacker, CEO, Education Australia [national body for the English language sector of international education]


2 weeks ago

sometimes I find it hard to know when they are talking their book or being genuine


2 weeks ago

I think it is usually both MAUOMBO.  As CEOs they will always talk up their own book, however these comments go on the public record and these CEOs will be judged based on their words as well as their actions (and their results), so they can't really afford to talk rubbish when they know it ain't so.  I always read comments by company insiders about their own industry with a grain or three of salt, however there is still some useful info and/or insights to be gained occasionally from reading through their comments and statements.

That said, I'll refrain from posting any further to this thread.  If anybody is still keen to read future NAOS "CEO Insights", you can access them here

And you can add yourself to NAOS' free emailing-list here (to receive their weekly emails). 

Be aware however that you will also receive other stuff from NAOS - mostly about the 3 LICs that they manage.

3 weeks ago

CEO Insights - Week Ending 26 March 2021 By NAOS Asset Management


“The consumer is really clear that they want to get what they want, when they want it, how they want it and they want a seamless, premium digital and physical experience. In fact, in many cases, they don’t see a difference between digital and physical” John Donahoe, CEO, Nike Inc

“Our brands remain well positioned to capitalise on consumer trends that have seen increased participation in surfing, camping and hiking” Xavier Simonet, CEO, Kathmandu Holdings Ltd

“One of the most interesting things we have seen in the last year is also the emergence of new cohorts of young DIY'ers, with a big increase in motivation, new skills and enthusiasm for DIY. Recent surveys we undertook across our market highlight that 18 to 34-year-olds have done more home improvement than any other age group…All of this is very encouraging for the future of our industry” Thierry Garnier, CEO, Kingfisher plc [multinational home improvement retailer]

Construction & Infrastructure

“I know that our competitors in Australia may have [based on their communicated guidance] a little bit of a different view on this but from what we see, also on the back of good infrastructure pipelines, there are significant infrastructure programs locally by state and nationally in place, we are optimistic for Australia” Dominik von Achten, CEO, HeidelbergCement Group [one of the world’s largest building materials companies]

“We are seeing very strong detached housing building approvals in Australia” Todd Barlow, MD, Washington H. Soul Pattinson Ltd

Domestic Housing

“I think they [house prices] will level out because people will run out of buying capacity” Lindsay Partridge, CEO, Brickworks Ltd

Food & Beverage

“Stores with fresh food fast have been performing well relative to control [status quo] stores within the same markets” Brian Hannasch, CEO, Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc [one of the world’s largest convenience store operators]

Transport & Logistics

“FedEx is prepared to transport vaccines to more than 220 countries and territories for as long as necessary to help eradicate COVID-19” Fred Smith, CEO, FedEx Corporation


“It’s more a speculative asset [cryptocurrencies] that’s essentially a substitute for gold rather than for the dollar” Jerome Powell, Chairman, US Federal Reserve

“You can now buy a Tesla with Bitcoin” Elon Musk, CEO, Tesla Inc


“Australia is easily the most hostile environment for electric vehicles in the world” Behyad Jafari, CEO, Electric Vehicle Council [Australia’s national EV industry body]

“Every six months we do an update with a [Volkswagen] board meeting on the EV environment in Australia. They are sitting in waiting for something to change [improving regulations], you know, but nothing ever changes” Michael Bartsch, MD, Volkswagen Australia

“We also continue to be restrained from hitting full manufacturing potential given almost daily [vehicle] component availability challenges” Michael Happe, CEO, Winnebago Industries Inc


“I cannot see a long-term rise in inflation. I talk to the chief executives who occupy Charter Hall’s $50 billion portfolio. No one I talk to predicts a wage breakout and technology will continue to be a wage deflator” David Harrison, CEO, Charter Hall Group

“We are seeing it across the globe, we are seeing inflation and it’s broad-based across commodities, across logistics, across things like aluminium and steel and so whenever you see this kind of broad-based inflation and it’s global, that’s an environment where you are going to realise net pricing [see less discounting]” Jeff Harmening, CEO, General Mills Inc [world’s 6th biggest food producer]

Employment & Workforce

“As employees return to offices, companies will discover that hybrid is hard to get right. Every meeting might have a remote participant but it's not going to feel the same as when everyone was remote…Individual work will be different too, as it will often include the need to jump on a video call without distracting others” Jim Keane, CEO, Steelcase Inc [largest office furniture manufacturer in the world]


“Creation and consumption across phones, tablets and desktops is exploding” Shantanu Narayen, CEO, Adobe Inc

“All the CEOs that I'm talking to, those who've already invested in digital are absolutely doubling down because they recognise that this is the way to further differentiate” Shantanu Narayen, CEO, Adobe Inc

Energy & Resources

“They [energy storage batteries] are getting cheaper and cheaper by the minute” Brett Redman, CEO, AGL Energy Ltd

Travel & Leisure

“In some cases, we think the airfares could be half of what they were pre-Covid and that will be there to stimulate demand. Internationally it's going to take a while for it to recover to 2019 levels” Alan Joyce, CEO, Qantas Group


3 weeks ago

Thank again Bear77 as always providing valuable macro economic data for all to get some industry perspective.

a month ago

CEO Insights - Week Ending 19 March 2021 By NAOS Asset Management

“There’s a serious imbalance in supply and demand of chips in the IT sector globally” Koh Dong-jin, Co-CEO, Samsung Electronics

“The digital-first world, everybody talked about the trends that accelerated in 2020. The digital-first world [has] put a big increase in demand as we’ve seen on semiconductor fabrication” Mike Roman, CEO, 3M Company [global industrial conglomerate]

“We expect the situation to become critical during the second quarter and have therefore decided to take measures [reducing car production]” Market Statement, The Volvo Group

“We’re seeing some constraints in the semiconductor supply chain. It’s impacting global automotive. The build rates have been rolled down from where we thought we would be as we entered into the year. We’re seeing that connection between electronics and automotive ever more impactful” Mike Roman, CEO, 3M Company [global industrial conglomerate]


“Within 2 life cycles the car industry will change dramatically, radically. Profit pools will shift from conventional cars, first into EVs [electric vehicles] and then radically into software. That has a lot to do with automated driving, which is going to happen” Herbert Diess, CEO, Volkswagen AG

Domestic Economy & JobKeeper

“The reality is that the so-called [post JobKeeper] cliff that we all feared is a very, very shallow cliff, if at all” Shayne Elliott, CEO, ANZ Bank Group Ltd

“It feels like customers are becoming more prudent in terms of their spending – we’ve definitely seen that change in the last month” Andre Reich, CEO, The Reject Shop Ltd

“As confidence builds the savings rate will reduce to more normal levels, which will be another retail stimulus effect dropping into the economy” Ian Bailey, MD, Kmart Group

Global Economy

“At the Fed [Federal Reserve], we will continue to provide the economy the support that it needs for as long as it takes” Jay Powell, Chair, US Federal Reserve

“We're also seeing an increasing tailwind from inflation, which started in commodities, but is now flowing through in the finished goods due to rising input, manufacturing, and transportation costs” Kevin Murphy, CEO, Ferguson plc [multinational plumbing/heating product company]

Energy & Resources

“All of us in the resources sector, including our colleagues in the coal industry, know that [environmental] change is coming” Andrew Forrest, Chairman, Fortescue Metals Group Ltd

Commercial Property

“We’re seeing rents come down but it’s not a material number at this stage. As we get through the latter half of this year, vacancy rates will probably increase in shopping centres, so rental deals will become better” Andre Reich, CEO, The Reject Shop Ltd

Building & Construction

“Everybody’s expecting a boom and so, if there is a boom, that’s when subcontractors’ and suppliers’ prices rise. If you go in really cheap now and activity picks up, you’ll lose money. The subcontractors and supplier prices will go up” Scott Hutchinson, Chairman, Hutchinson Builders [one of Australia’s largest privately owned construction companies]


“Beauty is a habit-forming, high frequency purchase – our customers see beauty shopping as essential not discretionary” Tennealle O'Shannessy, CEO, Adore Beauty Group Ltd

“Last year, we suddenly discovered a number: $60 billion - which is money that Australians spend overseas. I think most retailers will never ever forget that number again. Whilst we feel for international tourism operators...while Australians can’t travel, the harsh reality is that money is staying in Australia and with low-interest rates being pretty good for the property market...[this has been] very good for retail.” Richard Murray, CEO, JB Hi-Fi Ltd

“Safety and hygiene are here to stay – we’ll be selling a lot of hand sanitiser for many years to come” Sarah Hunter, Managing Director, Officeworks


“It’s a long-term trend that’s been accelerated in the last year, but it’s early days for e-commerce” Dhivya Suryadevara, CFO, Stripe [US$95bn global payment processing software company]

Technology & Telecommunications

“Today the data centre industry is supporting an enormous boom in technology and information creation, all of which are powered by computers and global networks that consume significant amounts of electricity” Craig Scroggie, CEO, NextDC Ltd

“Our ageing [national fibre] infrastructure isn’t really designed for where the world is going. When these were built, the cloud and Space X weren't around” Bevan Slattery, Founder, HyperOne/Megaport/NextDC/PIPE Networks/Superloop

“Even as we can now see the other side of the pandemic – people have learned behaviours of the new digital world. It’s work from anywhere, do from anywhere – that world is here to stay. I believe the available opportunity for us is expanding” Michael Dell, CEO, Dell Technologies Inc

Food & Beverage

[Due to eating more at home] “We are seeing no shortage of [butter] demand” Rene Dedoncker, MD, Fonterra Australia

Travel & Leisure

“We're seeing an improving trend in forward bookings across the globe” Kyle Gendreau, CEO, Samsonite International S.A. [world’s biggest luggage manufacturer & retailer]

a month ago

CEO Insights - Week Ending 12 March 2021 By NAOS Asset Management

Education & Learning

“A growing global middle class and longer careers are driving lifelong and non-academic learning, particularly re[skilling] and upskilling, a trend that has been accelerated over the past year. This all adds up to a huge momentum in our industry” Andy Bird, CEO, Pearson Publishing PLC [multinational publishing & education company]

Workplace & Employment

“The gap between employment and learning is narrowing. Employers are becoming the universities of the future” Andy Bird, CEO, Pearson Publishing PLC [multinational publishing & education company]

“We don't see anybody just saying, okay, we're not sending you any new boxes…it is very steady in the business, if that someone sends us a box today, it will sit there for 15 years on average, that [tenure of box retention] has not changed during COVID, it didn't change before COVID” William Meaney, CEO, Iron Mountain Inc [multinational document storage company]

“What Australia lacks is not the [tech sector workforce] talent, just the experience. When you are creating global platforms, getting the experience level in the country is a real key enabler” Anthony Eisen, Co-CEO, Afterpay Ltd

“I think you’re going to see a large creation of an onshore-centre-type workforce in this country in places like Adelaide, where you can get a labour arbitrage. You’re going to see a distribution of the workforce differently. COVID allowed us to do that” Tom Seymour, CEO, PwC Australia

Financial Markets

“There is no question that digitisation and technology is expanding access, and the expansion of that access breeds more participation [in equity markets]” David Solomon, CEO, Goldman Sachs Inc

Mining & Resources

“We haven’t seen any change in our relationship with our customers. We are seeing ongoing strength in demand” Elizabeth Gaines, CEO, Fortescue Metals Group Ltd

Tourism & Travel

“Regions that haven’t been able to snare the ‘drive market’ are now down by about 40 per cent year-on-year for forward bookings, according to our 1200 members across the nation” Simon Westaway, Executive Director, Australian Industry Tourism Council

“Strong social distancing rules are still in place within the community; the vaccine rollout remains in its infant stages; our international border is still slammed shut, and local consumer confidence has been rocked by ongoing rolling state border closures. Until those four blockages are removed, the industry is in dire trouble” Simon McGrath, CEO, Accor Hotels Australia

Housing, Construction & Infrastructure

“Given the profile of work we now see in front of us, especially in the key civil infrastructure markets on the east coast and particularly in Queensland, and across various industries including rail, road, energy, water and defence, we are very confident that earnings will continue to grow at a strong rate in the coming years” Steven Boland, CEO, Acrow Formwork & Construction Services Ltd [national formwork/scaffolding company]

“The housing stimulus has created more demand than ever, it’s absolutely unprecedented. Builders are all fighting over a limited number of subcontractors and now are more worried about securing enough tradies to deliver the projects, than winning more work” Russ Stephens, CEO, Association of Professional Builders


“The next really ‘holy grail’ in textiles will be recycling... I believe that for this industry, it's unacceptable that we don't have proper recycling solutions, something a bit more comparable towards what the paper, steel, aluminium [industries] have” Stefan Doboczky, CEO, The Lenzing Group [global textile manufacturer]

“Labour is very expensive in this country. You need to make premium products that people want to pay for and ensure that you are manufacturing in a smart way” Darren O’Brien, CEO, Mondelez Australia [world’s 2nd largest snack food company]

Transport & Logistics

“I don’t want to talk about hearsay or the feedback we get, but I would not expect it to be realistic that more than 30-50 per cent of people [would be] vaccinated in the western world before [the northern hemisphere] summer next year” Detlef Trefzger, CEO, Kuehne+Nagel International AG [world’s 2nd largest freight company/major vaccine distributor]


“Technology companies entering the car industry means that the car industry has a future and choices for customers will widen” Akio Toyoda, CEO, Toyota Motor Corporation

“2021 is the tipping point toward EVs [electric vehicles]” Mark Reuss, President, General Motors Company


“Technology is rapidly going to disrupt the [healthcare] industry which has been really hard to change” Tom Seymour, CEO, PwC Australia

Domestic Economy

“For inflation to be sustainably within the 2 to 3 per cent target range, wages growth needs to be materially higher than it is currently. This is the basis for our assessment that the cash rate is very likely to remain at its current level until at least 2024” Dr Philip Lowe, Governor, Reserve Bank of Australia

“We’ve obviously seen the accelerated deduction for capital, that was put in place as a temporary measure, and that’s definitely stimulated quite a bit of investment” Alison Watkins, CEO, Coca-Cola Amatil Ltd

“There has never been a time where there has been such enormous disruption of industries, technology change, changes to consumer behaviours and ways of working” Rob Scott, CEO, Wesfarmers Ltd