Study: Top CEOs ‘Miserable’ At Social Networking

Only two Fortune 100 CEOs use Twitter and no top business leaders maintain a personal blog, findings that show “a miserable lack of social engagement,” according to a new study.

Although 76 percent of corporate heads have a Wikipedia entry, 81 percent of 2009 business chiefs do not have a personal Facebook page, said Sharon Barclay of the Blue Trumpet Group, a public relations firm. Barclay released the study’s results on her blog UberCEO.

Only two CEOs — Warren Buffet and Proctor & Gamble’s Alan Lafley — have Twitter accounts. Although Buffet has 7,441 friends, the Oracle from Omaha has tweeted just once, a Feb. 20 “coming soon” message. Lafley has never updated his 33 followers on P&G, according to Barclay.

Twitter had 19.7 million visitors in May, according to Internet measurement firm Compete.

More than 8 in 10 top CEOs are also avoiding Facebook, the social networking giant with more than 200 million users.

The banking sector leads among Facebook corporate users with Bank of America CEO Ken Lewis, Wells Fargo’s John G. Stumpf, and Citigroup’s Vikram Pandit having the most friends. Exxon’s Rex Tillerson is the sole Fortune 100 CEO using Facebook without a single friend, according to the study.

The limited use of social networking by CEOs also extends to LinkedIn, a site that caters to business-to-business interaction.

Just 13 top CEOs are listed on LinkedIn, with only three having more than 10 connections: Michael Dell, Cisco’s John Chambers and Gregory Spierkel of Ingram Micro.

The results give the “impression that the ‘old boys’ network’ is clearly the preferred method for Fortune 100 CEOs,” Barclay said.

Earlier this year, Gartner published a study on CEO impressions of Web 2.0 services, such as social networks. Just 15 out of 74 CEOs questioned in the study said they had a “fairly good understanding” of Web 2.0 technology, with about 45 of the group responding they had limited understanding or had never heard of the term.

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