Chief Executive (U.S.)

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Articles from No. 188, May

Big Oil Profits from Uncertainty
Not surprisingly, the war in Iraq, a three-month general strike in Venezuela and political turmoil that has halted production in Nigeria are all playing havoc with world oil prices and production levels. The only mild surprise is that the upheaval could...
CEO vs CEO
In the fight over expensing stock options, it's the tech industry against the world. On a brisk Wednesday morning in mid-March, six men and one woman assemble in a nondescript room in a suburban office park in Norwalk, Conn., 40 miles from New York City....
Clarity Ain't What It Used to Be
In the past few months, a perplexing new term has crept into the vocabulary of the business community. The word is "clarity." Increasingly, we hear that investors failed to buy stocks or companies delayed making investments because they lacked the sort...
Dare to Be Different
MANAGEMENT Commoditization looms around every corner. Differentiate now-or wind up just another label on a supermarket shelf. Most CEOs would give almost anything for a glamorous, allcash business with a near-guaranteed percentage of profits. But for...
Europe Turns East
REGIONAL REPORT: EUROPE The EU's expansion could create opportunities-and pitfalls. Next time you're in Vienna, try renting a car to drive across the Austrian border, just 40 miles away. Start by mentioning that you're aiming for Hungary and watch the...
Feedback
What Backlash? Regarding "Beware of Global Backlash" (Editor's Note, March 2003), I don't doubt there may be some slowing of globalization in the near future, but I don't think the prognosis is particularly bad. When it comes down to it, money talks...
Flouting Conventional Wisdom
INSEAD scholars W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne say the key to success isn't about your company or industry. It's about smart strategic moves. Chief executives in search of strategic inspiration traditionally have had two alternatives. They start with...
Get a Piece of IBM's Mind
If you were a CEO with a seemingly impossible technological challenge, wouldn't you like to have the world's best scientists solving it? And wouldn't it be great not to pay their salaries, just rent their minds? As far-fetched as it may seem, that's...
Getting Outsourcing Right
Here are lessons from the biggest deals of what to doand what not to do. The gutting of the corporate back office continues at a rapid pace, as CEOs outsource large chunks of their operations. In 2002, a flurry of year-end activity-including a $4.5 billion...
Honda's Accord EX
The CEOs I've known, even billionaires, have been passionate about getting value for their money. At the same time, the best ones know that every action they take is scrutinized by others in their companies. If the boss blows big bucks on a fancy car,...
How Corporate Reforms Could Backfire
CHIEF CONCERN There will be unintended consequences for Corporate America if reformers overreact and radically change the way companies govern themselves. In a perverse way, reformers may trigger a crisis that would weaken, rather than strengthen, governance....
How Long Can Confidence Go?
CEO CONFIDENCE INDEX CEO confidence fell sharply in our most recent survey, but the war in Iraq wasn't necessarily the biggest cause of dismay. The overall CEO Confidence Index fell to a low of 89.4, down from 100 in October, when we commenced our email...
How to Find Your Spring Groove
golf For CEO golfers who live in the North and the Midwest-and even many parts of the South-spring couldn't arrive soon enough this year. As the fierce winter just past buried fairways and greens under snow, golfers resigned themselves to putting on...
Ignore Technology at Your Peril
EDITOR'S NOTE Facing war abroad and many pressures at home, it's difficult for CEOs to keep their eyes on technology. But now is a critical time to be doing just that. Although most companies have slashed spending on technology and capital goods, several...
It's (Not That) Hard to Say You're Sorry
THOUGHT LEADER Im sorry." Not easy words for anyone to say. Yet chief executives are saying them more often than ever before-even when they're not required to do so. CEOs are the public faces of the companies they run, and an apology is often the best...
Managing Email Hell
TECHNOLOGY A surge in legal demands for long-forgotten emails is playing right into the hands of Zantaz CEO Steve King. The feds want your email-and that could mean trouble. Just ask the CEOs of Deutsche Bank Securities, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley,...
North by Northwest
When Robert Parker taxis down the runway at Oakland International this summer in his single-engine Bonanza A36 headed for Sunriver, his vacation will begin in earnest. Parker, chairman of Parker Price Venture Capital in San Francisco, will get almost...
Porsche Goes SUV
wheels When I heard that Porsche was jumping into the SUV market, I had what must be a common reaction: "They're doing what?" It struck me as a major marketing non sequitur-kind of like hearing that Robert Mondavi had decided to distill Scotch. After...
The Hidden Benefits of Sarbanes-Oxley
Being a CEO at a public company is clearly not as enviable a position as it once was. The passage of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act last summer, with its numerous penalties for corporate wrongdoing, means some CEOs could actually face prison time. So it is surprising...