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According to new research by CTPartners Executive Search Inc. (NYSE MKT: CTP), Fortune 500 CEOs are slow to post their profiles on LinkedIn, the world’s largest online professional network that claims over 160 million members globally. Just seven percent of Fortune 500 CEOs in the U.S. are choosing to post their profiles on LinkedIn, as well as just 12 percent in Europe and three percent in Asia Pacific-based firms. Worldwide, seven percent of Fortune 500 CEOs post on LinkedIn, the same percentage as in the U.S.
LinkedIn claims its members include executives from all 2011 Fortune 500 companies, but it apparently has yet to convince a vast majority of chief executives to post a professional profile. The CEOs who do post their profiles on LinkedIn indicate that they are more interested in expertise requests, business deals, reference requests and getting back in touch, rather than in job inquiries or career opportunities.
Brian Sullivan, CEO of CTPartners, said, “Interestingly, all the CEOs currently on LinkedIn are male and they are not predominantly from the technology sector. In the U.S. for instance, in addition to the small number from tech, the CEOs on LinkedIn represent companies in the consumer goods, airlines, financial services and industrial sectors. Neither does company size matter, as CEOs who are on LinkedIn hail from both the largest and smallest Global 500 companies.”
Sullivan added, “The findings suggest that CEOs of very large, primarily non-tech firms are not buying into the importance of social media generally, and LinkedIn specifically. Their firms are almost certainly adopting social media strategies, but personally, CEOs aren’t yet seeing the value.”
By selecting 469 companies from three regions on Fortune’s 2012 Global 500 list (131 from the U.S., 178 from Asia Pacific and 160 from Europe), the executive search firm found that only seven percent of CEOs are on LinkedIn. CEOs in Europe are slightly more open to posting their profiles in LinkedIn (12%) compared to the U.S. (7%) and Asia (3%).