Entertainment and Media CEOs are still as nervous as cats as the digital revolution upends their business models. But the strategy of firing people to boost profits doesn’t excite them as much as it did last year, consulting firm PwC (formerly PricewaterhouseCoopers) says in a new study based on its 15th Annual Global CEO Survey. Entertainment and Media (E&M, for short) now ranks first among all industries in the percentage of CEOs (64%) who say that they plan a new strategic alliance or joint venture over the next 12 months. That has surpassed cost reduction as the top agenda item: Some 78% said that they did that last year, making it E&M’s top restructuring strategy — but just 61% said they plan more belt tightening in the coming year. The CEOs “are not so much risk-averse as intensely aware of the greater risks of standing still,” the report says. But execs ironically now complain that they don’t have enough talent to accomplish their goals. About 35% of E&M chiefs said that they had to cancel or delay a key strategic initiative over the past year due to talent constraints — higher than the overall average of 24%. As a result, about 75% say that they are investing in workforce development. At the same time, 31% of E&M CEOs said that they expect to acquire another company over the next three years to deal with their skills shortages. That makes E&M the third most potentially acquisitive industry after Technology, and Business and Professional Services.
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