NAOS CEO Insights

March 29, 2024

CEO INSIGHTS – Week Ending 29 March 2024

“Australia is objectively one of the hardest markets in the world to take out a credit card”

Matt Comyn, CEO, Commonwealth Bank of Australia Ltd

Supply Chain, Logistics & Machinery

“The needs for safety and security in the logistics scene are rapidly expanding due to the shortage of skilled workers and the global demand for improved working environments” Yuichi Mano, President, Mitsubishi Logisnext Co Ltd [Mitsubishi Forklifts]

“We expect the global forklift truck market to dip temporarily in FY2023, when the production side of the market has been rectified worldwide, including other manufacturers and our company, and in FY2024, which will be an extension of the rectification process, then we are assuming a gradual recovery for 2025 to 2026” President, Mitsubishi Logisnext Co Ltd [Mitsubishi Forklifts]

Convenience Stores

"On the consumer side, on the convenience side specifically, it's really that lower income consumer that we're seeing strain today” Brian Hannasch, CEO, Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc [major multinational convenience store operator]

Global Trade & Productivity

“Weakness in global trade continues to constrain demand in our international business, which has remained challenged for longer than expected” Rajesh Subramaniam, CEO, FedEx Corp.

“Some studies predict that Generative AI technologies could improve global annual productivity by as much as $2.6 billion to $4.4 trillion. This is the equivalent of the gross domestic product of the United Kingdom” Peter Voser, Chair, ABB Ltd [major global machine automation & robotics company]

Financial Services & Banking

“I described insurance as the oxygen of commerce, and that is what it is. Whether it's operating a restaurant, shipping goods via railroad or cargo ship, sending satellites to space or even driving a car, you can't do any of these activities without insurance” Patrick Gallagher, CEO, Arthur J Gallagher Co

“Australia is objectively one of the hardest markets in the world to take out a credit card” Matt Comyn, CEO, Commonwealth Bank of Australia Ltd

Data Centres

“The entire Asia Pacific region is becoming a really attractive market for data centre development and is expected to remain so for decades to come, given the explosion in data processing demand in this part of the world” Stuart Gibson, Co-CEO, ESR Group Ltd [largest real estate manager in APAC]

“It’s [data centre power requirements] a very hungry caterpillar” Yukio, Kani, CEO, JERA Co. [Japan's largest power provider]

Chinese Consumer

“I would say that the physical retail channel in China is stronger than digital, and then within Digital, Tmall [B2C online retail market], which was historically the biggest digital driver, is experiencing less growth” John Donahoe, CEO, NIKE Inc

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Building & Construction

“Around 8 per cent of the workforce is likely to be lost to retirement and departures from the industry each year is equivalent to over 100,000 people per year” Denita Wawn, CEO, Master Builders Australia

Metallurgical & Product Testing/Certification

“Minerals margins have been maintained despite subdued trading through December 2023 and January 2024” Market Statement, ALS Ltd

“People always demand more manufactured products. This is true in emerging markets where the middle class is strongly growing, but also in mature geographies where we see the development of local production” Geraldine Picaud, CEO, SGS Group [worlds’ leading testing, inspection & certification company]


“I do think that the customers that we serve, who are looking to update and modernize their spaces and make their spaces work harder, are thinking differently about what those spaces look like, and they're thinking perhaps differently about what kinds of solutions and amenities they need to provide in their spaces to attract and retain talent and to drive their business initiatives and business outcomes” Sara Armbruster, CEO, Steelcase Inc [worlds’ biggest office furniture company]

“Visual communication is now ubiquitous in the workplace…From internal communications teams producing onboarding materials to marketing teams scaling global campaigns, the world of work is becoming an increasingly visual place” Cliff Obrecht, COO, Canva

Tech Sector

“Competition for qualified employees is intense in our industry” Market Statement, Reddit Inc

Media & Advertising

“Digital publishers continue to be impacted by intense competition for audience time between the largest platforms [i.e. Facebook, YouTube]. As these platforms try to retain users, they are sending less traffic to publishers…in a tough market for digital advertising, our clients have often had to forego custom-branded advertising campaigns” Jonah Peretti, CEO, BuzzFeed Inc


“The world has done famously well because we’ve had cheap energy. Once you get rid of coal, gas and petroleum products, are the likes of lithium, cobalt and nickel going to generate the trade surpluses that we are living through now? Because without those, the country is already broke. We’re in la-la land here” Robert Millner, Chairman, Washington H Soul Pattinson

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