A Simple, but Ultimately Useless, Way to Judge a CEO’s Performance

  Let’s not judge their performance based on their pay just because the math is easy. In a month or so, we’ll begin to see this year’s crop of corporate proxy statements, the annual SEC filings in which companies invite shareholders to the annual meeting, propose the election of directors, and—the hottest news—report the CEO’s…

How the Best-Performing Companies Do More With Less

Being “asset light” helps them compete. Consider Walmart wmt , the leading 20th-century retailer, and Amazon amzn , the leading 21st-century retailer. By one metric they’re strikingly similar; their total market value is the same, about $250 billion each, according to consulting firm EVA Dimensions. But by another measure—one that goes to the heart of…

An Unsolvable Business Problem You Can’t Afford to Ignore

  If you haven’t faced corruption yet, prepare yourself. I remember not many years ago talking with the CEO of a substantial but not famous publicly traded U.S. company, who was agonizing over what he should do in Brazil. His company had been operating there for a few years, doing well, but now he wondered…

Tyco-Johnson Controls Gives Us a Window into the Business World’s Hardest Challenges

  One story, three important trends. Sometimes a single event illustrates several important trends that business leaders are confronting. Today’s example is the Tyco-Johnson Controls merger. Trend No. 1: deconglomerating. This one is embodied in the deal’s history; both companies are products of vigorous deconglomeration in recent years. Johnson Controls jci CEO Alex Molinaroli has…

The Way Forward For McDonald’s and VW

  Here are a few forecasts for leaders in Tuesday morning’s news. Four fearless forecasts for leaders in Tuesday morning’s news: -McDonald’s CEO Steve Easterbrook will restore the company’s health by focusing on the basics. He got the job last March with the company’s performance in free fall. On Monday, he reported that U.S. same-store…

Michael Bloomberg May Not Be What Voters are Looking For Anymore

  Bloomberg seems to believe voters want a bipartisan, non-ideological leader. The big question: Do they really? The most intriguing leadership news over the weekend is that former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg is preparing for a possible presidential run. Whether he decides to run, and whether he succeeds if he does run, will…

Business Leaders, The Public Wants to Trust You. Now’s Your Chance

  Show, don’t just say, how your organization contributes to the greater good. Then go ahead and earn high profits. In case the U.S. presidential race hasn’t tipped you off already, something new and strange is going on with the way people evaluate institutions and the leaders who run them. The evidence arrives in the…

What We Can Learn From Adidas’ $1 Billion CEO Decision

  After Adidas announced its new CEO, it immediately gained $1 billion in value. It’s easy to forget how important one human being can be. You’ve probably never heard of Kasper Rorsted – I hadn’t until Monday – but he turns out to be a highly valuable man. Adidas announced that he would be leaving…

Ford CEO Mark Fields’ Daring Attempt at Transformation

  Fields’ actions are easy to talk about and hard to do. Thousands, or perhaps even millions, of business leaders around the world are, in a large sense, going through what Ford f CEO Mark Fields is going through. But we could not have a clearer, sharper distillation of the issues they’re all facing than…

Macy’s CEO Terry Lundgren Faces Several Different Threats

Its stock has plunged by almost half since last July, and activist investor Jeff Smith is urging the company to pursue real estate deals. What’s a leader supposed to do in a position like Terry Lundgren’s? He’s the CEO of Macy’s m and a hero of retailing in his nearly 13 years running the company.…

Tim Cook’s Epic Growth Challenge at Apple

  Cook must make the world’s most valuable company more valuable, when conventional strategies would barely move the needle. One of the great business leadership challenges of recent years is playing out before us now, widely unappreciated for what it is. That’s a bold claim but easily justified. I’m talking about the challenge facing Apple…

Yahoo’s Marissa Mayer Faces a Steady Stream of Crises

And she has company, including VW’s Matthias Müller and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. In a big organization, when things turn bad, they tend to get worse. We could hypothesize on why that is, but let’s skip it for now. It’s just a miserable fact of life for leaders, as we were reminded on Wednesday morning…