Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Atlas the Shrug

CEO performance is typically judged by the price of his company’s stock. Before the crisis, it was much easier to look capable or even “visionary” thanks to all those incessant (though nominal) new stock market highs. The broader market was papering over A LOT of executives' flaws.

Now with stocks dropping and stock juicing measures failing across the board, many of those “brilliant idea men,” who were praised for overpaying to acquire companies they didn’t understand, are set to be exposed. Turnover is bound to accelerate at the CEO level too.

Too many of these guys carry themselves like Kardashians in suspenders, so it will be nice to see the CEO-celeb bubble burst a bit. I have heard enough of their painfully generic statements about “looking global” while “keeping an eye on local trends.” I don't need to hear about how he learned his most important business lesson when he forget to wear sunblock on his first day selling peanuts at NOSTALGIA-EVOKING BALLPARK THAT NO LONGER EXISTS. Oh, and did you know that although his title says William he makes sure everyone calls him Bill? What else would you expect from this “CEO next door?”

Meanwhile this shareholder value wrecking machine has a mistress for every letter of the alphabet and would be 99% helpless without his Chief Risk Officer, Chief Technology Officer, and Chief Financial Officer (who only get to be famous when they screw up).

A lot of CEO reputations are going to plummet in tandem with their stock price, leaving them to pound the pavement like the rest of us. Regular jobseekers look for jobs on sites like careerbuilder.com. Where do useless “visionaries” with no detectable skill look for work? Companydestroyer.org?

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