Changes in competition, the Internet, industry consolidation, price pressure and skill shortages are the top five marketplace challenges, according to chief executive officers who responded to a survey by Accenture and The Conference Board. The Internet rose from No. 8 in the 2000 survey to No. 2 in 2001, partly because it has created or magnified the issue of competition, the survey analysts said. In fact, more CEOs of trade companies, utilities, and healthcare and other nontechnical companies indicated it as their top concern than did their counterparts at information technology companies. Price pressure was No. 1 last year. Other findings of the survey of 506 CEOs in North America, Europe and Asia: * Geography affects CEOs' opinions. The No. 1 issue for North American CEOs is the shortage of skilled workers. For Europe, it is the Internet, and for Asia, it is changes in competition. * The Internet is more of a concern in Europe and Asia than in North America, where CEOs profess confidence that their firms have started to use the Internet effectively. * The top three management challenges were customer loyalty (No. 1 last year), increasing flexibility and speed (No. 5 last year) and competing for talent (No. 8 last year). In North America, customer loyalty was No. 1, but in Europe and Asia, increasing flexibility and speed was more important. An executive summary of the findings is available at www.conference-board.org.