Chief Executive (U.S.)

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Articles from No. 187, April

A Call to Action
FINAL WORD editorial American CEOs are not engaging in the public debate caused by the spectacular series of corporate scandals. They hope greater financial transparency and improved board structures will be sufficient to stem the tide. And perhaps some...
Anatomy of a Turnaround Guru
Jeff Christian, chairman and CEO of executive search firm Christian & Timbers, is on the short list of folks board members call when a company needs a CEO in a hurry. Here's what he tells them to look for: An irrefutable reputation. "A reputation...
Averting Disaster
Think giving CPR to companies in crisis is hard? Try doing it in the middle of a downturn. When Robert "Steve" Miller Jr. pulls open a company's front door, that loud sucking sound you hear is typically a sick firm gasping for air. Companies that call...
BMW's Boxster Beater
EXECUTIVE LIFE The Editor's Picks wheels I'm behind the wheel of a new BMW Z4 roadster in the remote backwaters of South Carolina. It's a six-speed manual and I can feel the power of the six-cylinder 3.0-liter engine. It offers only 225 horsepower, but...
Cadillac Gets It
Those who've harbored any fondness for Cadillac have watched over the years as successive waves of General Motors executive proclaimed that they finally got it right - they finally designed a car for people who aren't ready for the nursing home. First...
Can You Spare a Dividend?
Bush's tax-break proposal has ignited a debate over how companies use excess cash. The political fight over President Bush's proposed tax break for dividends may be small potatoes compared with the boardroom fights that are sure to erupt if it passes....
Don't Get Caught without the Right Talent
CHIEF CONCERN We have cut 3.4 million jobs from the American work force in the past two years. But, my fellow CEOs, when things start heating up and customers begin putting in orders, will you be prepared to handle the business with the right manpower...
Feedback
CIOs and Crisis Prevention Perhaps the most important question a CEO should ask his CIO ("Put Your CIO Through the Hoops," January/February 2003) is: "How are you managing our data security risks and planning for business continuity in the event of a...
Firing Top Guns
MANAGEMENT Why CEOs hate axing their execs-and often foul it up Ask CEOs which part of their job they dread most and the answer isn't making their numbers or keeping Wall Street happy. It's firing their top executives, or even just mulling the idea....
Getting Growth in Tough Times
How CEOs can organize their systems to spur innovative growth Most smart chief executives know that relying on the inspired efforts of a few mavericks to nurture new-growth opportunities is a recipe for stagnation. What I have learned from these CEOs...
Gut Instincts or Consumer Research?
C-SUITE CONFIDENTIAL top questions for your CMO "Love your product, but hate your ads." That's just the kind of feedback CEOs hate to hear-and understandably so, given the millions most companies spend on advertising each year. For chiefs with backgrounds...
How NEC Is Gunning for IBM
Global Business For years, Japanese technology companies have faced twin challenges in the American market. The first is that no major Japanese company has been able to create a U.S. subsidiary headed by an American with real decision-making authority....
Investment Banks Pay for the Past
BY THE NUMBERS After suffering through the worst equities market in more than 20 years, investment banks were hoping 2003 would be a year of recovery. The answer so far? Don't count on it. According to IPO Monitor, the number of initial public offerings...
Is It Miller Time Again?
Steve Miller jokes that he's listed in the Yellow Pages under Flaming Diasters. And he might as well be. The unassuming 60-year-old gets call about virtually every turnaround task that surfaces -and he's known for taking on even the most hopeless of...
Is It Time for Net2Phone?
CEO Stephen Greenberg says his company is conquering voice-over-Internet. Net2Phone was born in 1995 amid expectations that the Internet would replace voice networks run by telephone companies. To do that, the central challenge was to chop the human...
Is S&P's Pedestal Cracked?
FINANCE Critics say the esteemed rating agency should have spotted Enron's woes sooner. S&P's president says `not so.' By now, it's a depressingly familiar litany. Everybody failed to see Enron coming. Then it was WorldCom, Tyco and others, ad infinitum,...
Managing Investors like Warren Buffett Does
Mark A. Keller is vice president and chief investment officer of St. Louis-based A.G. Edwards. He manages a $900 million portfolio, including $400 million in equities such as Berkshire Hathaway. In addition to a company's results, he studies the personal...
Short Spring Getaways
EXECUTIVE LIFE Time was-no more than a couple years ago, actually-when CEOs passionate about golf exercised their executive privilege each spring by making pilgrimages to Scotland or Ireland and playing historic links such as St. Andrews or Ballybunion....
The CEO Trap
COVER STORY How the very nature of the CEO's job can set you up for failure-and how you can steer clear of it. The year is still young, but already it's shape ink up as another brutal one for CEOs. Management gurus may opine on the possible causes of...
The Korean Conundrum
EDITOR'S NOTE With so much attention focused on the Middle East, an American CEO could be forgiven for being confused by the headlines coming out of a different part of the world-the Korean Peninsula. There have been anti-American demonstrations in South...
The Mood Is Downbeat
ceo confidence index We are pleased to unveil our CEO Confidence Index. We have been gathering this data from our CEO readers via email since October and now have sufficient data to begin presenting our results. It's clear that American CEOs felt increasing...
The Sweater Can Revive Our Economy
FLIP SIDE For at least the past two years, the entire planet has been waiting breathlessly for the revival of the American tech sectorfor without a tech comeback we could all be stuck in the current bear market indefinitely. Yet even as we sit on the...
Tireless in Seattle
Two years ago, 80-year-old Safeco Insurance Co. came dangerously close to shutting its doors for good. Earnings had plunged to just 9 cents per share, and the stock price had fallen to $22 from a 1998 peak of $56. Management decisions by its former chief,...
Toward More Rational CEO Succession
THOUGHT LEADER The rash of business scandals has raised the question of whether the malfeasance is the work of "a few bad apples" or symptomatic of widespread institutional breakdown. In other words, does the problem lie in the personal character of...