CNBC’s Andrew Sorkin hosts a WEF 2018 panel--”In Technology We Trust?”--with Ruth Porat, chief financial officer of Alphabet; Dara Khosrowshahi, CEO of Uber; Rachel Botsman, academic and visiting lecturer at the Said Business School, Oxford University; Sir Martin Sorrell, CEO of WPP Plc; Marc Benioff, chairman and CEO of Salesforce

 

There is a crisis of trust in institutions across the globe. The 2018 Edelman Trust Barometer revealed that people generally lack trust in business, government, NGOs and media. Those surveyed aren’t looking to governments to lead the way to a more trusted world. Two-thirds of respondents surveyed want CEOs to take the lead on policy change instead of waiting for government, which now ranks significantly below business in trust in 20 markets. CEOs are becoming more trusted as business leaders take stands on the issues of the day, such as equality and immigration policies. In fact, building trust surpassed developing high-quality products and services as the number one job for CEOs in the survey.

The issue of trust is top of mind for the business, government and academic leaders attending the annual World Economic Forum (WEF) meeting in Davos, Switzerland this week.

Salesforce’s Chairman and CEO Marc Benioff believes that trust is the critical currency for any company or institution and that CEOs must become an activist for their stakeholders to build trust.

During a panel at WEF, In Technology We Trust?, he said, “In the world of these new connected products, in the Fourth Industrial Revolution, in this multi-stakeholder dialog that we have here at Davos, trust has to be the highest value in your company, and if it's not something bad is going to happen to you. It’s a culture issue. What is the most important thing in your company – is it trust or is it growth? If anything trumps trust, we are in trouble...You have to choose what is really important to you. We are in a new world... and trust better be number one.”