I read an interesting piece from Steve Tobak yesterday asking the question …Are CEO’s Worth It? Given my title I would have a certain bias in this answer, but I am also acutely aware of the excesses that “more than a few” CEOs have demonstrated over the years, so I don’t think my opinion would be a slam dunk!
I very much liked how Tobak answered this, sometime emotive, question. He did not try to sugar coat the issues or go with the crowd about the “overpaid” and greedy CEOs we have all read about. Instead he provided some sensible commentary that suggests, the CEO “job” is just that “a job”. Some CEOs are worth what they earn (like Steve Jobs shown), and others are not.
Like any job there are people who are successful and some that are not, there are people that are successful in certain conditions and not so successful when situations change, there are people who are successful for a period of time and then they are not. I think the difference is that if the CEO is not doing such a good job then it affects everyone in the chain … not even just the employees, but clients and suppliers too.
I am CEO of a private company, and I am one of its owners which I think is a slightly different mindset than a CEO who is hired to do the job. That can be both a good thing and a bad thing. It is good from the perspective that I am highly motivated NOT to lose my, or my partners’, assets by “tanking” the company … but potentially bad because sometimes an owner can be “extra critical’ of staff they don’t feel are doing things as they would!
Some time ago I wrote a blog entry about the changing role of the CEO in a small company … and the need to be able to do what it takes at different times in the company evolution. Its a slightly different picture that that painted of some of the greedy people who have been linked to CEO excess over the years.
The topic of CEOs can be an emotive one, especially when so may people lost jobs during a recession largely caused by the “excesses” of some very large financial institutions and the blind faith of the masses. I think Tobak answered the question well.