Woolworths ‘top’ among listed firms
Business Day - May 10th 2012, 10:09
SA’s top companies have experienced a battering in their reputations this year, a survey showed, but clothing and food retailer Woolworths emerged with the most robust reputation score, despite a controversy involving the alleged misuse of the intellectual property of a small ginger beer maker earlier in the year.
Speaking yesterday after the release of the 2012 RepTrak Pulse survey done by the Reputation Institute, the institute’s MD Dominik Heil said the threat of not correcting the decline in reputation was that companies risked becoming unattractive.
The survey, in its seventh year in SA, studied the reputation of the 20 largest listed firms. More than 1300 respondents took part and 3010 ratings were collected from the economically active segments of the public — living standards measure (LSM) 6 — in Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, the Eastern Cape and Western Cape.
The survey showed that Woolworths scored 78,59 points, about 10 points ahead of runner-up MTN. All the remaining 18 companies scored below 70 points. After MTN, the other top performers were Absa , Standard Bank , Vodacom , Clicks, Old Mutual and Nedbank , respectively.
Mr Heil said corporate leadership needed to be more visible to boost their reputation, just like the late Apple CEO Steve Jobs.
"They (SA corporate leaders) are quiet. They hope to please their shareholders.... They need to demonstrate that their involvement uplifts people."
Mr Heil said banks needed to demonstrate their commitment to things such as extending credit and supporting entrepreneurs.
The banks’ scores were not far apart. FNB had the best reputation among the banks, but was not rated among the top 20 listed companies, as it is a unit of FirstRand and is not listed.
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