ComputerWorld reports that a recent study by UberCEO.com shows that most CEOs at large U.S. companies are not taking advantage of online networking tools such as Twitter and LinkedIn. An editor at UberCEO.com says, "No doubt, regulations such as Sarbanes-Oxley and Reg-FD make CEOs cautious about communicating freely, [but] they're missing a fabulous opportunity to connect with their target audience."
The reality is that the CEOs of the large companies referred to in this study probably did not get to where they are by connecting with thousands of customers in any direct way at all. What they do well (one hopes) is build teams that can build and execute useful strategies well.
If their firm is selling a consumer good, such as a smartphone or basketball shoes, then I can see the argument for getting out there on Twitter and Facebook, even for the CEO. But the CEO of Caterpillar isn't going to sell many bulldozers on Twitter, he's just not.