just published a major business article saying, in essence, we've gone through the age of the major corporate builder, and the age of the fixer; now its time for the emergence of the leader. What nonsense. I have to take a pause from my series to comment.
First, if there was an era of corporate builders, it wasn't a successful era. With a very few exceptions, like GE, most builders - CEO's who grew by acquisition - were dismal failures. In a Business Week article last year, it was reported that over 60% of all major acquisitions destroyed value. The laundry list is long: Tyco, TimeWarnerAOL, HealthSouth, WorldCom.....Only the investment bankers who put the deals together were the winners. Many of these acquisition binge CEO's did so to cover an inability to deal with their core business.
But more importantly, why do we pay CEO's such exorbitant salaries if they can only do one of these tasks. A worthy CEO should be able to (a) do carefully selected acquisitions, (b) fix his businesses that are broken, and (c) lead the troops to ever higher levels of achievement. I don't think that's asking too much. Sorry NYT.