Burson-Marsteller's new CEO reputation study found that large numbers of CEOs and top executives have soured on the chief executive position. According to global communications consultancy Burson-Marsteller's recent Building CEO Capital study, a hefty 73 percent of CEOs have entertained the thought of quitting. This is a 35 percent increase over pre-Enron CEO responses (54 percent) in 2000. The 2003 research was conducted among business influencers – CEOs, senior executives, financial analysts/institutional investors, business media and government officials.

"Reluctance to accept the top slot comes at a time when corporate America is in need of more than a few good CEOs," remarked Patrick Ford, chair of Burson-Marsteller's Corporate/Financial Practice. "Like it or not, successfully restoring trust in corporate America lies in the willingness of upcoming qualified CEOs to take risks, roll up their sleeves and restore the reputation of the office."

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