The buzz from Davos: 5 big themes for 2023

Executives from some of the largest companies across the world gathered in Davos, Switzerland Jan. 16 to 20 for the World Economic Forum.

Here are five top takeaways from the event, as reported by The Wall Street Journal:

1. Profitability is the priority over growth. "Performance that was defined as excellent in the past — lots of growth, who cares about profit — is performance that is described as not good enough or middling in our new world," Dara Khosrowshahi, CEO of Uber Technologies, in the report.

2. CEOs are focused on more disciplined investments core to the company's mission. Pet projects and wild innovation are on the chopping block.

3. Efficiency and results will be buzz words this year to drive companies forward without adding to the bottom line. "It's not about everyone else doing more with less, we will have to do more with less. We will have to show our own productivity gains," Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft, said at the event.

4. Companies are still spending on technology to automate and become more efficient so they can play "offense and defense at the same time," which McKinsey & Co. Global Managing Partner Bob Sternfels said is becoming a more common executive mantra.

5. CEOs are feeling pressure from boards that were supportive in the first few years of the pandemic to now become more efficient and deliver better performance results despite economic hardships.

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