Chief Executive (U.S.)

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Articles from No. 194, December

Beating Back Protectionism
ELECTION-YEAR POLITICS often bring out the worst of economic policies. Politicians, caught between their policy-making duties and their desire to win re-election, frequently deliver sound-bite solutions to complex problems. Most recently, China has moved...
Catching the Diet Craze
Food industry giants-under fire for allegedly causing obesity-are fighting back by shifting gears and feeding consumer demand.When it comes to relying on the dietary discipline of the American people, pardon food-industry chiefs if they haven't exactly...
CEOs and Foreign Policy
AS GLOBALIZATION has been effected by earth-girdling corporations, many CEOs have metamorphosed into something resembling heads of state. With sales greater than the budgets of many nations, these CEOs find it easier to arrange meetings with President...
CEOs Can Ease Strife
AS LEADERS OF COMPANIES, when we think about our opportunities around the globe, we tend to focus on promising markets. We don't spend much time looking at war-torn territories. After all, there's no commerce to be done there, and settling those decades-old...
CEO: The Soul of Today's Brands
To be a CEO today is to worry-worry about profit and loss, worry about the productivity of R&D, worry about balancing fixed costs and expansion strategies against quarterly market expectations. Although difficult, these are tangible problems with...
Companies Be Nimble
Developing true agility is tougher than it looks. After years of hard work, CEOs are still searching for the best way to pick up speed.The casual business observer might conclude that after a decade devoted to reengineering, restructuring and realigning,...
Corporate Moguls
ceo extremeIn Jackson Hole, a ski camp for overachieversDo you see this snowflake?" asked ski instructor Christoph Schork, pointing to a quartz-like shard glimmering in the sunshine. We were standing on the deck of Corbet's Cabin in Jackson Hole, at...
Fixing the Legal System
EVEN THOUGH growth is picking up, the U.S. economy is suffering greatly because of the nation's tort system. With the explosion of litigation, our legal system is out of control. Courts are clogged with frivolous lawsuits. According to the most recent...
Gearing Up to Go Private
For companies seeking the safe haven of private life, both promises and peril await.In 2001, Key3 Media Group was tumbling. With annual revenues of roughly $325 million and a work force of 800, the trade show producer owned such major brands as Comdex...
Holiday Gift Guide
Hand-held DevicesStay connected with one of the new smart phones that combine voice and Internet with PDA capabilities. Where previous models were bulky, these offer a good balance of usability and size. The Nokia 6820 ($500) has a numeric pad that flips...
Leaders Show First Signs of Employment Optimism
CEO CONFIDENCE INDEXEven as CEOs have slowly regained confidence this year following the Iraq war, recession and corporate scandals, they have sent clear signals that they weren't in any hurry to start expanding or rebuilding their work forces.Now that...
On Trial: Whither Germany?
The trial of Deutsche Bank CEO Ackermann reflects a battle over whether German companies can become more global.The timing couldn't have been worse: As Deutsche Bank CEO Joseph Ackermann reeled off bullish forecasts to a crowd of journalists this past...
Taking Charge: Vision and Heart
I WRITE THIS OPEN LETTER to my fellow CEOs with all due humility, recognizing that I've been out of the job for more than two years and knowing just how much it has changed in that short period of time. I miss the daily interaction with my former customers...
Tech: What Comes Next
Some CEOs may think the technology opportunities of the late 1990s were just hype, and that it's time to go back to business as usual. I respectfully disagree. In coming years, information technology, applied thoughtfully, will unleash a major new round...
The Best Defense: Going on Offense
editorialAt long last, it seems the cycle is turning. Both Lucent and Cisco, those key barometers, have reported good quarters. Semiconductor sales are up. The stock markets are up, and Google is heading for an initial public offering. Economic growth...
The Bunny Hits the Big 5-0
mediaChristie Hefner has a picture of herself as a baby sitting on the lap of her father, Hugh, as he worked on the first issue of Playboy on his Royal typewriter. Now, this month, Playboy is turning 50 and Ms. Hefner, the chairman and CEO of Playboy...
The Growth Imperative
ON RECENT TRIPS to Europe and the Asia-Pacific region, I've been reminded yet again of the critical importance of strong economic development in countries around the world. In Europe in general, and Germany m particular, growth has been anemic for several...
The New Math of Profitable Growth
WHERE WILL GROWTH come from in 2004 and beyond? For most CEOs, finding the next wave of profitable growth is at the top of their agenda, along with global sourcing, cost cutting and dealing with Sarbanes-Oxley. Yet, like Olympic athletes preparing for...
The Real Governance Challenges
A major challenge to CEOs in the coming year will be to assure that their companies meet the requirements of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and the new listing standards of the stock exchanges. Doing that will be costly and time consuming, and the requirement...
The Shape of Things to Come
When times are good and everyone is achieving the right numbers, a CEO can relax his or her grip and decentralize decision-making to a degree. But during difficult times, it seems that decision-making gets "recentralized," or put back into the hands...
Time for an Exchange of Ideas
Like many Americans, I was devastated when news got out that the American Stock Exchange was up for sale. From a traditionalist's perspective, it was the worst news since Rockefeller Center was taken over by a Japanese buyer years ago. The very idea...