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just business

2006-07-19 14:42:28.831629+00 by Dan Lyke 4 comments

A little article about Bechtel's role in the Big Dig and other large government contracts, and while we're talking about potential corporate malfeasance, highest paid CEOs appear to have the worst performance.

[ related topics: Current Events ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: made: 2006-07-19 15:11:14.805699+00 by: ebradway

The high-paid CEO syndrome looks similar to a trend I've noticed: a company that hires an expensive accountant is having trouble. If the owner's wife does the books at the kitchen table once a week and hand-writes the payroll, you can figure that things are going well. That is, the credits easily add up to more than the debits. But when a small company needs a full-time CPA, things are pretty dire.

#Comment Re: made: 2006-07-19 20:59:07.582583+00 by: Nancy

Ooh...the owner's wife...do I detect a little sexism here??

#Comment Re: made: 2006-07-19 21:42:53.710091+00 by: baylink

How many nuclear generating stations was Bechtel the general contractor for?

#Comment Re: made: 2006-07-19 22:35:19.939129+00 by: ebradway

Sorry, didn't mean to imply sexism. It was just my personal experience of 18 years living in the Southeast. But just the idea that if cash flow is good, then the books may be handled by a relative. If the cash flow is bad, then the real pros need to be called in.

But I wonder just how much of an affect a CEO could have on a company? Sure, Lee Iaccoca was recognized as turning around Chrysler and Apple sure seems to be doing better since Steve Jobs returned. Can a CEO really impact corporate culture in any meaningful way without massively shifting talent?

Maybe Jobs was a bad example because he was almost a "spiritual leader" in the Apple Culture. If he went to Disney, would things actually change there? Jobs seems to lead by getting good people under him and making sure the culture is unimpeded. The culture at Disney is not the Jobs' culture and I don't think it could shift that far - nor would the rest of Disney really want to.