Have You Ever Met Or Spoken With Your CEO?

Have You Ever Met Or Spoken With Your CEO?

In the wake of Yahoo’s new rule banning telework, a lot of people are talking about whether or not you really are more productive — or at least more creative — when you’re surrounded by your coworkers and managers. Since it’s often CEOs that make those decisions for everyone, we’re wondering: Have you ever met or spoken with your CEO? Have you had a conversation with the top dog that wasn’t a passing courtesy?

Picture: SCA Svenska Cellulosa Aktiebolaget

We’re talking about conversations beyond a handshake at the end of a meeting or a company presentation where your CEO was in front of a crowd, of course. If you did meet and have a good chat, how did it go? Did he or she impart any wisdom to you or ask you for your perspective on things? Did you feel like you benefited from the experience, or do you think the CEO was just politely making the rounds? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments below.


  • At my current job, no, but at my last few jobs, yes. Got a little weird when at my last job, my CEO and my dad met as presenters at the same conference, and they had a conversation about me. I didn’t realise I’d made enough of an impression on my CEO for them to have that sort of conversation!

  • As approachable as my company’s CEO is, and I have had more than a few “passing handshakes” so to speak.. you just get the impression that since he is the CEO you don’t want to be wasting his time with idle chit chat.. so I’ve never truly had a proper chat with him myself. I’ve received letters of appreciation where I can see that he clearly had input into the letter rather than it being some generic form letter of appreciation.. but yeh.. other than that.. not much really.

  • We are a company of about 240 and I speak with our CEO daily. I’m head of a department though, so that helps. I’ve previously worked overseas as a junior at a big multinational and never got near the CEO there. Oddly enough, that same CEO is now our chairman here, so I see him monthly…

    Cool story.

  • Yes, but I’m from a relatively small company (Australia-wide about 200-300 employees). We had a ‘company camp’ where everyone in their respective field got flown and put up in a hotel and we had 1 week of talks/conference etc. At meal times, the CEO always sat with different employees to talk over a meal. It was actually really good. It was easy to throw some ideas around, make suggestions and see from his perspective some things.

  • I talked to (not with, just to) Steve Ballmer enough at Microsoft that I caused a reorg. Although it saved a half billion dollar project that could have been a PR disaster as well as an expense, it was quite a shakeup. He actively ducked me after that. I think it had something to do with my comments having given him information that represented legal exposure for him personally, and he didn’t want that happening again.

  • I worked for a company where the CEO had his own private dining room. Each day 12 people from the company would be selected to have lunch. If happened every day, whether the CEO was in or not. Many people would ask if he was going to be at lunch before saying if they would attend or not. (Generally if he wasn’t going to be there they said yes). I haven’t heard of this in other companies and would be interested to know if it happens.

  • Yes. Frequently. Just a part of the job really. I need to present business cases to him, discuss current projects, work out any future strategies and all that jazz. The biggest problem I see people have when doing anything with C-Level execs is they let their status get to them, they turn into a nervous wreck. They’re normal people, like everyone else. Treat them as such and you’ll come off a lot better. Sure you need to adapt your presentation to suit the audience (C-level guys and gals usually don’t want to tiny day-to-day detail), but you should be doing that anyway.

  • I worked for News Int for a few years, and had an opportunity to meet James Murdoch at a employee meeting. We just went up to him after the presentation while he was standing around and had a good 15 min chat with him. He was a nice guy, and seemed to take the time to think through what we said and suggested.

  • Yes, at a few places I’ve worked for. I’ve met the CEO for RT Aluminium product group in Australia a few years ago as part of a uni experience program, CEO of the last gold mine I worked in (it was a small company) and the CEO of the company I work for now (about 600 employees). I found all three very approachable, polite and interested in what I had to say.

  • I’m an apprentice draftsman for an engineering company, I’ve managed to get along quite well with the CEO, and my boss. Took a 6 day road trip on sports bikes with the CEO from Gosford to Phillip Island and back for our mutual interests in motorbikes to see the MotoGP. With my boss it’s a mutual interest in technology and entertainment, so we share our collections of tv shows and movies and join in on some multiplayer games.

    Though be warned getting along with your boss well can sometimes lead to less than professional conduct at work, which can lead to interruptions (“conference calls”) mockery and a casual insult here and there, in which i’m freely allowed to fire one right back with no consequence. But some days you just want to do your job and go home.

    In every other job i’ve had there’s been practically no communication with anyone up higher, and typically went unnoticed regardless of efforts.

  • I work for a small building society with about 80 odd employees but we see our CEO pretty often or if not see get personal emails. It is one of those places where he does actually know every employee by name and if you have a reason to talk to him is always more than happy too. Actually have raced with him at a few sporting events too which is great.

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