My weekend reading was an interesting mix of CEO and company reputation items:
- An amazing interview with Home Depot’s CEO Bob Nardelli by BusinessWeek columnist Maria Bartiromo. The questions were fairly hostile for your typical Q&A. Nardelli seemed ready for them and diplomatically answered. Not easy to do when you are being attacked on all sides. Nardelli has alot of explaining to do over the failed shareholder meeting. Definitely worth a read to see the punches thrown by Maria.
- Caught up on two CEO blogs. One blog is by CEO Charles Dunstone of Carphone Warehouse. Dunstone started out promoting his company’s new free broadband package for TalkTalk and to respond to the deluge of customers. He also managed to get a dig into his competitor BT who Dunstone says is complaining that the new service is not free (Dunstone advises BT to “do the maths, BT”). The other blog is by CEO Richard Charkin of publisher Macmillan. Charkin’s reason for blogging is that his IT department complained that his electronic newsletter was clogging up the system. Can’t say that Macmillan people tip toe around their CEO!
- Next I read Cadbury Schweppes CEO Todd Stitzer’s oped in the Financial Times (June 1) calling all business leaders stand up and defend the reputation of business. Stitzer reviews how business bashing has become a sport and will continue unless business people stop letting others speak for them. “We have allowed our argument to go unheard and we have, as a force in the world, sometimes preferred to be invisible. We can do so no longer. The invisible hand needs to become visible. If we do not speak up for business, who will?” I have to agree that the reputation of business only continues to deteriorate and needs shoring up by the business community.
- A colleague pointed out a full-page advertisement that ran in the top tier media by the CEO of Boston Scientific, Jim Tobin. Tobin put his job on the line when he said: “I have taken personal responsibility for overseeing our Cardiac Rhythm Management organization, and I have put a new management team in place.” It is good to see CEOs sign their names to commitments and not shy away from controversy.
Just some facts I thought I would share with you.
CEO reputation, company reputation, Bob Nardelli, Home Depot, BusinessWeek, shareholder meeting, CEO blogs, Carphone Factory, BT, Macmillian, Boston Scientific, Jim Tobin, Cadbury Schweppes, Todd Stitzer, Charles Dunstone, Richard Charkin, reputation of business