Magazine article Workforce Management

A CEO for California, Inc

Magazine article Workforce Management

A CEO for California, Inc

Article excerpt

Finance likes the banker or the businessman.

PR prefers some flash and glamour. No one asked human resources' advice.

I WAS BORN, RAISED and will probably die here in the circus tent formerly known as the state of California. But I am not responsible for the fact that we Californians have a robo-actor, a porn king, an Eva Gabor sound-alike and 132 other people on the ballot for governor next month. Nevertheless, out of a sense of civic duty, I'd like to present an alternative scenario. If government should be run like a business, let's start with how we'll fill the top job.

As of right now, we've chucked the whole democratic-process charade. We're doing what business does. We're hiring ourselves a governor-hereafter known as the CEO of California, Incorporated. Compensation will be tied to his or her ability to erase the massive debt load. And if the process works, we'll develop it as candidate-selection software (CalHire(TM) maybe), and sell it to other states. Minnesota should definitely give it a try.

California, Inc.'s selection committee has reviewed the candidates' Web sites and chosen people who are "uniquely qualified" for the job. The committee put the top six recommendations in this dossier, which was completed late, late last night. The finance people have stated their views. And since we're the Entertainment State, the PR chief (whose last job was with Dream Works SKG) has demanded major input on the applicants:

Peter V. Ueberroth. Finance says: "Ran a profitable Olympic Games in Los Angeles in 1984. Ran Major League Baseball, instead of running it into the ground. Independently wealthy, so won't hold us up for a big salary. We like him." PR says: "Unbelievably shy and retiring and bland. If you want him, we have to work on a makeover. Would he go on Queer Eye for the Straight Guy?"

Bill Simon. Finance wanted him, but he got cold feet. PR sniffs: "See? …

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