Survey: Top execs not keen on LinkedIn

Some 93 percent of chief executives globally aren't on professional network, and only 3 percent of Asia-Pacific-based CEOs have signed up.

The world's largest online professional network LinkedIn may claim to have over 160 million members globally, but it has yet to convince the majority of chief executives to get on its bandwagon--with 93 percent of them absent from the platform.

Recruitment firm CTPartners Executive Search released a study on Tuesday stating 93 percent of CEOs from the world's largest companies choose not to post their profiles on LinkedIn. In Asia, only 3 percent are on the network, it noted.

Of those with a LinkedIn profile, they are all male and were not predominantly from the technology sector. In Asia, for example, CEOs on LinkedIn represent companies in the financial services, automotive, and oil and gas sectors. Company size did not play a big factor, as top executives on it hailed from both ends of the Fortune Global 500 companies list.

The research polled 469 companies from Asia-Pacific, Europe, and the United States from Fortune's 2012 Global 500 list.

Personal relationships matter most in Asia
Out of the 178 Asia-Pacific companies surveyed, 5 of these have CEOs on LinkedIn. Two of them were from India, while Australia, China, and Japan each had one representative, it stated.

By contrast, 8 out of 131, or 7 percent, of U.S.-based chiefs and 19 out of 160 European ones, or 12 percent, are on the network, the study showed.

Kathryn Yap, managing partner of CTPartners Singapore, said: "There are very few senior executives in Asia-Pacific who will consider using open online professional networks. Whether it is [recruiting] for the role of CEO, CFO, CIO, or business unit director, our teams at CTPartners tend to rely on personal networks and access to the top echelons of local conglomerates, multinationals, and government bodies instead."

She added it is particularly hard to gain access to CEOs in Asia-Pacific, where relationships are key. LinkedIn can be used to recruit for entry-level or middle-management positions though, she qualified.

Looking at China specifically, Train Luo, managing partner of CTPartners China, said LinkedIn is not commonly used there. Instead, it is Sina Weibo which is increasingly popular with local senior executives, especially those from the real estate and high-tech industries.

"Some high-profile CEOs have turned to Weibo as a channel to promote their companies or industry views; others such as senior real estate executives have been known to voice their views on government policies. You can also observe some senior executives who try to draw the market's attention by raising topics that can be considered controversial," Luo said.

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