CEOs Wish for 50-Hour Day as Business Makes Comeback in Davos

Bloomberg’s Aaron Kirchfeld reports that Indra Nooyi, chief executive officer of PepsiCo Inc., wishes “days had 50 hours” to squeeze in a marathon of meetings at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

Her view was echoed by company executives from around the world as managers turned back to business amid rising optimism. Seeing the worst of the financial and economic decline behind them, corporate and political leaders at the 41st annual conference in the Swiss ski resort shifted their focus from crisis management to growth, managers said.

“I bumped into a couple of CEOs of rather large companies, and they told me: ‘You know, I haven’t attended a single session, I have one meeting after another,’” Anatoly Chubais, CEO of Moscow-based Russian Nanotechnologies Corp., said this week. “We’re in that stage of climbing out of the crisis, and new deals that go with that are being generated.”

Confidence among CEOs has rebounded to pre-crisis levels, according to a survey of 1,201 managers in 69 countries by PricewaterhouseCoopers LLC, released on the eve of the World Economic Forum.

For executives who attended the gathering, which concludes today, that meant a renewed focus on client meetings and networking. JPMorgan Chase & Co. CEO Jamie Dimon, 54, made time to meet with Russian billionaire and United Co. Rusal head Oleg Deripaska. Domenico Siniscalco, who leads Morgan Stanley in Italy and is the country’s former finance minister, said he had about 35 meetings in Davos this year compared with 15 last year.

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