Lately, the least able CEOs are getting all the attention.
But what about the CEOs who have starred in the best turnaround stories of recent years? What can we learn from them?
Consider Fiat, Hewlett-Packard and Boeing. Five years ago, Fiat was on the verge of bankruptcy. Hewlett-Packard was getting clobbered in the PC market, and Boeing was losing the race for new aircraft orders.
All three shared one similarity: To outsiders, it looked as though the trends they faced were irreversible. Things changed quickly.
HP replaced its leader, who cut staff and costs, and made the Compaq merger work. Fiat’s CEO entered into negotiations and quickly made peace with unions and cut costs without closing plants. Boeing switched strategies, gambling on a midsize plane.
What we can learn: One difference between the best and worst CEOs is that good ones work at a faster pace.
— Adapted from “The World’s Best CEOs,” Mark Gimein, The Big Money.