NAOS CEO Insights

June 23, 2023

CEO INSIGHTS – Week Ending 23 June 2023

“In the future, AI will undoubtedly become the center of the times. However, we believe that the current communication infrastructure cannot support a next-generation society coexisting with AI”

Junichi Miyakawa, CEO, SoftBank Corp

Building & Construction

“Many of our customers wish they could get more of our building construction products out of us. That's part of the construction industries. Earthmoving is another one where we wish we could meet higher demand” Jim Umpleby, CEO, Caterpillar Inc

Cards & Gifts

“I think the big challenge that our industry has faced over the years has been a steady commoditisation of the category” Paul Bal, CEO,IG Design Group Plc [major stationary product manufacturing company]

Freight & Logistics

“[Last] September, we pointed to 3 things: we said that the industrial economy was slowing down and because of inflation, interest rates and slowdown in global trade; we said that the consumer spending was shifting to services versus goods; and then thirdly, there was an e-commerce reset coming out of the pandemic. Well, all those 3 things happened, and they were detrimental to volume for the whole industry” Rajesh Subramaniam, CEO, FedExCorp

Defence & Geopolitical

“The world is a different place. We see readiness at the top of literally every government's agenda” Lawrence Culp, CEO, General Electric Company

Telecommunications& Technology

“In the future, AI will undoubtedly become the center of the times. However, we believe that the current communication infrastructure cannot support a next-generation society coexisting with AI” Junichi Miyakawa, CEO, SoftBank Corp

“I think this [AI] is going to create millions of startups...entrepreneurship is going to be a boon. Anyone can essentially do the equivalent of what software engineering only allowed you to do five years ago” Brian Chesky, CEO, Airbnb Inc

“Quite possibly, digital is the most transformational set oftechnologies our world has ever experienced. And it's setting up for digital to be the primary economic growth driver and driver of social progress that we will see for the coming and beyond. And that's accelerating innovation, enabling ecosystems…and it's also elevating the standard of living for billions of people around the world” Charles Meyers, CEO, Equinix Inc [world’s largest data centre provider]

Corporate Sector

“Furthermore, business travel in the months of May and June have significantly reduced due largely to corporate travel budgets being exhausted following exponential increases of international fares” Lim KimHai, Exec Chair, Regional Express Holdings Ltd

“If we don’t innovate, we could lose 40 per cent of our jobs to automation and artificial intelligence” Larry Marshall, CEO, CSIRO


“We’re coming to the point of investing hundreds of millions of dollars to progress these [shovel-ready] projects. But without the policies in place to line up customers, suppliers and investors, these projects will go elsewhere, and Australia will be left behind” Frederic Baudry, President, BP Australia

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Australian Stock Market

“If you’re a really profitable high-growth company you could probably IPO, but other than that it’s pretty hard. That means there are certain numbers of de-listings and mergers that are going on that are shrinking the asset base of the ASX without any input on the other side” Richard White, CEO, WiseTech Global

Mining & Manufacturing

“So particularly with the OEMs [original equipment manufacturers], there's a lot of conversation around sustainable production…so there's a lot of conversation about how we produce lithium, the steps that we go to make as sure as possible, as ultimately, our customers, the OEMs value proposition to their customer is about cleaner energy” Jerry Masters, CEO, Albermarle Corp [world’s largest lithium producer]

Commercial Property

“We expect well-located quality assets to continue to outperform secondary assets and locations against an uncertain macro economic backdrop” Darren Steinberg, CEO, Dexus

Learning & Education

“While trading conditions in FY23 have been positive for APAC and AMER[icas] regions, we have experienced trading-headwinds in EMEA, particularly the UK, which has been impacted by a general economic slowdown” Market Statement, 3P Learning Ltd

Discretionary Spending

“Despite the uncertain economic climate, our research shows that 70% of respondents have considered using an RV for travel instead of a flight, hotel or rental car” Michael Happe, CEO, Winnebago Industries Inc

“We’ve just enjoyed what was the biggest and best Sanctuary Cove [International] boat show where even I was completely humbled by the interest and international demand” Rodney Longhurst, Chairman, Riviera Boats


“So, overall retail, the market is volatile, the furniture industry, is volatile” Melinda Whittington, CEO, La-Z-Boy Inc


“Our data indicates that more merchants are looking to offset payment acceptance costs through surcharging, which may suggest that inflationary pressures have resulted in higher costs to run their businesses” Jon Davey, CEO Tyro Payments Ltd

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