In an article entitled 5 Reasons CEOs Should Maintain a Stellar Reputation Online, Cheryl Conner stresses the importance of CEOs actively managing their reputation online. These are:
1. Customers may consider their reputation before buying.
2. Their reputation can help establish them as leaders.
3. Shareholder’s may consider reputation before hiring.
4. Their reputation will affect how the media portrays them.
5. Search results about them can kill or help them land a job.
Of particular interest to us is number 1. Consumers generally do take news into account when buying. Retail store Lululemon learned this to their dismay last year when they responded poorly to quality concerns about sheer and pilling yoga pants, which cost between $82 and $128. Lululemon founder Chip Wilson went on Bloomberg TV and blamed the issues on “women’s bodies,” sparking a new wave of outrage. Even Wilson’s eventual apology was vilified for its insincerity, and he resigned from his position as chairman in December.
Wilson’s reputation was tarnished with his comments and since this affected sales, he had to depart.