by Scott Eblin
A recent Fortune magazine article about how and why Pfizer CEO Jeff Kindler was pushed out of his job last year is an excellent, real-life case study in the “Why Smart Leaders Fail” genre.
Perhaps the biggest reason for Kindler’s downfall was that he trusted the wrong person. He hired his head of human resources, Mary McLeod, in 2007 just three years after she had been fired for cause at Charles Schwab. It only took her another three years to play a major role in helping to bring her new CEO down.
Here’s how she did it. They’re five signs that an HR chief is trouble—and they’re not just unique to Pfizer:
1. Not focused on execution. The first responsibility of an HR exec is to make sure the trains run on time. It’s one of those functions where if you don’t get the basics right, everybody suffers and everybody notices. McLeod reduced the headcount in Pfizer HR but paid little to no attention to the day-to-day e...(register to read more)