The CEO Poll: Play it safe

Canadian CEOs on threats to business in 2010.

Business leaders give the federal mini-budget high marks.

The fragile economy has wreaked the most damage on the health of businesses over the past two years, but other dangers are lurking, too. A panel of Canadian CEOs recently expressed their views on corporate risk and crisis management in a web poll conducted by COMPAS Inc.

The most likely threat to a Canadian business in 2010 is fraud or theft, according to the respondents, who put the chances at 41%. That likelihood goes up during a recession, according to the CEOs, who pegged the chances at 34% when asked the same question in 2007.

A crisis resulting from a faulty product or poor service is also likely, at 35%, followed closely by employee lawsuits.

In terms of emergency planning, the panel contends businesses are most equipped to deal with fires and employee lawsuits, but are far less prepared when it comes to dealing with terrorism, natural disasters and the risk of employee violence.