Gary Speed RIP

November 27, 2011

Gary Speed

Update [Dec 3rd 2011]

After his tragic death, there was a surge of acknowledgements of the life and achivements of Gary Speed, both within and beyond the football world. The original post [below] captures the mood in the first 24 hours, as the news spread around the world

Gary Speed died suddenly on November 27th 2011 at the age of 42

The Wales Manager Gary Speed was promising a bright future for Welsh international football. His young team was gaining in confidence after three consecutive wins.

A premature death

In the days that followed his death, there were tributes from around the world. The picture from countless friends that repeatedly emerged was someone who had transcended the egotistical danger of fame.

Here is a video of BBC radio bulletin which was broadcast a few hours after news of his premature death. It includes the silent tribute paid to Gary Speed at the start of the Swansea City:Aston Villa match which turned into spontaneous applause.

Modest but of fierce resolve

In the vocabulary of Leaders we deserve Gary Speed might be seen as a version of the Level five leader (modest but of fierce resolve) . Others might see elements of the the charismatic figure from whom friends and colleagues wanted approval. The more recent ideas of authentic leadership also come into the picture.

Press discipline

The media respected the wishes of the family for respect to be shown without intrusion. Perhaps the publicity being given to the on-going Leveson inquiry into press standards was an influential factor in this.

On the day of his inquest, web stories begin about the contribution of tabloid media to Speed’s death. The Sun is showing great interest in the emerging story and has provided stunning (but non-exclusive) coverage.

The Tributes

Among the many tributes, one of the most imaginative was from Leeds fans

Earlier this week Leeds fans chanted Speed’s name for 11 minutes from the 11th minute of their match against Nottingham Forest in honour of their former number 11.


Olympus Faces Major Corporate Challenges

November 27, 2011

Recent business headlines present Olympus as a company facing a serious crisis. Their sacked CEO Michael Woodford continues to draw attention to alleged corporate malpractices

The Crisis at Olympus

A good overview of the crisis was captured in a review by Digital Trends which is abstracted below:

To most consumers, Olympus is a Japanese company that makes a selection of well-regarded digital cameras. The company also dabbles in gizmos like digital voice recorders. Olympus started back in 1919 making medical thermometers and microscopes. Today it makes a huge range of medical and industrial products.

Controversy and scandal

For the last few weeks, [October-November 2011] Olympus has been surrounded by controversy and scandal. The company installed then quickly sacked Michael Woodford, its first non-Japanese CEO. It has admitted that it paid out some $687 million to Axes America as an advising fee related to the Olympus’s $2.2 billion takeover of British medical company Gyrus in 2008, roughly a third of the total price paid. Axes America has since shut down, along with the Cayman Islands company that handled the transaction.
Olympus says its relationship with Axes America ended with the stock buyback and that it has no knowledge of the advisor’s current status. Axes America and Axam Investments were operated by Japanese banker Hajime Sagawa.

Michael Woodford

On April 1, 2011, Olympus appointed Michael Woodford as the company’s president and chief executive officer, with Tsuyoshi Kikukawa shifting to chairman of the company’s board. Both were Olympus lifers. Kikukawa had been instrumental in getting Olympus into the digital camera business, although he also pursued an aggressive merger-and-acquisition strategy that sometimes rankled investors. Woodford was viewed as a solid, loyal choice for expanding Olympus’s business outside Japan, keeping the company’s core business intact, and effecting deploying cost-cutting strategies

Woodford’s dismissal

On appointment, Woodford became deeply uneasy about what he discovered about the Gyrus deal. He commissioned PriceWaterhouseCoopers to assess the Gyrus deal. PWC reported [Oct 11th 2011] that the “cost of the transaction to Olympus is extremely significant and is as a result of a number of actions taken by management which are questionable and which give cause for concern.”

The same day, Woodford wrote to chairman Kikukawa: “It is truly extraordinary and frankly unbelievable that Olympus made a series of payments approaching USD $700 million in fees to a company in the Cayman Islands whose ultimate ownership is still unknown to us, preventing the auditors from verifying that no related parties were involved.”

Two weeks later [Oct 14th 2011], Olympus removed Woodford from his roles as president and CEO roles on a unanimous vote, retaining him as a director on the board. Officially, Olympus claimed Woodford’s approach was disrupting its operations and could no longer be tolerated.

Woodford becomes a John Grisham hero

According to CBS News, Michael Woodfood became a hero from a John Grisham novel:

[Woodford] says he’s been unwittingly cast in a corporate drama of deceit and danger befitting a John Grisham novel. “Mentions of organized crime, boardroom battles, character assassination…it’s just been a surreal few weeks,” he said.

Japanese companies have long been criticized for their cozy, insider corporate culture. The Japanese themselves say that change is difficult without something called “gaiatsu,” which literally translates as “pressure from foreigners”

Shareholders around the world are demanding Woodford is reinstated and a full-scale investigation is held internally. Woodford is to meet [Dec 2011] with investigators at the Justice Department. There are allegations that organized crime in Japan helped engineer the cover-up. At stake is not just the fate Olympus, but the reputation of corporate Japan itself.

Acknowledgements

A Linked-in message from Fontas Varidakis drew LWD attention to the Olympus story, picking up many of the points and corporate dilemmas covered in this post. The image of Michael Woodford is from the Shropshire Star site.


Today’s Top Business Stories tend to have a High Gloom Factor

November 25, 2011

The twenty top business stories provided by Google today reflect a general mood of pessimism. There are no tales of heroic leaders. Bad news stories dominate over inspirational ones. The stories mostly register high on a simple ‘gloom index’

Some years ago when I started collecting leadership stories, such a sample would have contained quite a few feel-good ones would have described the successes of heroic leaders. The proportion of those stories has since that time dwindled.

Introducing the Gloom Index

This week [Oct 24th 2011] I took a look at the twenty business stories obtained from scanning the pages of Google. My crude [1-5 star] Gloom Index rating is a representation of my judgement of the mood conveyed in the stories. Don’t take too much notice of it as a scientific measure, although it might offer promise if developed into an index of cultural mood of business confidence, a kind of ‘feed bad’ factor.

The stories and their gloom factors:

Bank of England ‘to kick start ailing economy’ Presented as reaction to gloomy outlook. Gloom Index ****

Weir group buys US fracking firm for £430 million (good news unless you disapprove of fracking). Positive innovation story with slight gloom factor. Gloom Index *

JD Sports slowdown. Mildly negative financial story Gloom Index ***

James Murdoch resigns from British Boards (Bad news except for Murdoch haters so modest gloom index Gloom Index ***

Banks have ‘racist’ lending policies. Negative leadership story defended in letter to FT Gloom Index *****

Daily Mail profits fall as newspapers come under pressure . Negative leadership story Gloom Index *****

Gas prices to rise. British gas chief asks for forgiveness. News Night yesterday had CEO of British Gas defending corporate policy against assorted pressure groups,no pun intended]. He mostly apologised for lack or transparency re tariffs and promised self-regulated reforms. Negative story. Gloom Index *****

Manufacturing output falls in EU and China
A real five-star gloom story Gloom Index ****

Wage gap for young men widens (could be positive for young women but presented as a bad news story Gloom Index ***

Compass (catering giant) shows good growth globally. Hooray. A good news story [Gloom Index 0]

Nokia Siemans cuts 17,000 jobs world wide. Negative business story, but could signal attempts to survive. Gloom Index ****

Nestle creates 300 jobs in coffee pod manufacturing in UK . A mild hooray for regional good news but tempered with a slight gloom factor at its scale when opposed to the high-gloom Nokia one. Gloom Index *

Poor results from another Utilities company (United Utilities) Gloom Index *****

Tesco slashes prices in promotional campaign (good news for Consumers but neutral presentation with some negative factors as might be expected from The Independent) Gloom Index *

Qinitec (defense firm) in 45% profit rise Good news, unless you consider rise in profits of defence firms in a negative light. Gloom Index *

Banks accused of dishonest lobbying by Sir Roger Jenkins Letter critical of Sir Roger, but still high gloom factor implied in the letter. Gloom Index *****

Lloyds promises more to SMEs and start ups (good news if you believe this; slight gloom factor for cynics) Gloom Index *

50% tax rate risks talent drain from UK (bad news slant, wouldn’t you say?) Gloom Index ****

Note on the Gloom Index

As I indicated above, The Gloom Index is no more than my personal shorthand assessment of the tone of the business stories of the day. It has some connection (in a negative sense) with current attempts to develop a happiness index and measures of feel-good factors. Feel-good measures and the Gloom Index link with the interests of behavioural psychologists, and particularly those interested in the merits of a positive approach to life.

A properly-researched Gloom Index could have value in studying leadership and change. It would connect with work of Teresa Amabile on the progress principle and Richard Boyatzis and colleagues. These approaches are described in the textbook Dilemmas of Leadership.


Sandusky trial reveals dilemmas of leadership and corporate governance

November 22, 2011

Bloggers have the luxury of offering opinions which sometimes influence popular opinion.  But speed of reaction almost always results in lack of detailed analysis.  The Sadusky football coach/child abuse scandal at Penn State is a case in point

The story caught my attention, as it provides insights into corporate responsibility, social influence theory, willful blindness and dilemmas of leadership. My thoughts are mostly around the dilemmas raised by the case, and for responsible bloggers

The complexities of the case

As I dug into the news [Oct-Nov 2011], I became aware of the complexities of the case as the ‘map’ of the trial shows. The Grand Jury report also reveals those who subsequently were fired [up to Nov 9th 2011]. It suggests the dilemmas facing the Penn State football coach Mike McQueary who had observed Sandusky molesting a student [in 2002].  Also the dilemmas for other individuals at Penn State as the story was passed up the line at Penn State.  

McQueary’s dilemmas

Stanton Peel presents the story from the point of view of McQueary:

The most common response I have heard about the Penn State football-child abuse scandal is that Mike McQueary should have notified the police, and that he should be punished. McQueary was a graduate assistant coach at Penn State in 2002 when he allegedly observed Jerry Sandusky, emeritus Penn State coach [molestiung a student] in Penn State’s locker room shower. McQueary immediately called his [own] father.

The next day, per his father’s recommendation, McQueary called Penn State’s legendary head coach, Joe Paterno, then went to Paterno’s home to inform the coach of what he had seen. Paterno reported some version of what McQueary had told him to athletic director Tim Curley. Subsequently, McQueary met directly with Curley and Penn State finance vice president Gary Schultz to describe what he had seen.

And that was it. Nothing happened to Sandusky; nothing was done for the child, or any other children Sandusky had assaulted. Years later, when a grand jury uncovered these events, Curley and Schultz were charged with lying to the grand jury; then Penn State fired Paterno and University president Graham Spanier.

No immediate action was taken against McQueary, who had become coach of wide receivers for the team. At first he was to be kept out of Penn State’s next game to protect him from irate fans. Then, the University’s attitude towards McQueary shifted, as more public ire was directed at him. He has since been placed on administrative leave.

Doing no evil and free expression of opinion

The battle for responsible blogging is as worthwhile a cause to defend as the right to free expression of opinion. Google got it right when it opted for their slogan don’t be evil. But more recently the firm has begun to phase out its slogan, aware that the dilemmas of corporate life make “doing no evil” too easy a target for critics.

Blogging no evil

Bloggers capture the wishes and fears of our 21st century world. They often amplify emotional beliefs. It is the duty of what called the redress of poetry. However, much of blogging would be of greater value if bloggers took more time in attempting to dig more deeply. By identifying the dilemmas faced within a leadership story, we give ourselves a better chance to see beyond the targetting of perceived injustices. It may not change the world, but it helps the blogger avoid the dangers of willful blindness.


Anti-Capitalist Protest at St Paul’s Turns into a Morality Play

November 21, 2011

The Anti-Capitalist protest outside St Paul’s cathedral has turned into a morality play after the resignation of a turbulent priest

The following notes were written as events unfolded in October 2011.  The headlines have moved on, but the basic story remains as dilemmas between radical protest and stability; between economics and ethics

Murder at the Cathedral

T.S.Eliot wrote a celebrated verse play about an historic Murder at the cathedral. It dealt with the assassination of Archbishop Thomas Becket in Canterbury Cathedral in 1170. Eliot’s play written in the 1930s can be taken as an allegory of rise of Fascism and its subversion of the ideals of the Christian Church.

A dramatic protest

I was reminded of Eliot’s play by the events surrounding the Anti-Capitalist protests outside St Paul’s cathedral [October 2011]. This drama also involves a protest, and has been billed as involving violence visited on the protestors by the forces of authority, and with the collusion of the Church. The tented protest was originally targeted at the nearby Temple of capitalism, the Stock Exchange. Protesters decamped to the sanctuary provided by the grounds of the Cathedral.

The turbulent priest

The turbulent priest who saw the symbolism of the demonstration was Giles Fraser. According to the Independent

Giles Fraser, the charismatic Canon Chancellor of St Paul’s Cathedral, said he resigned because of fears an eviction would lead to “violence in the name of the Church”. Dr Fraser, a media-savvy commentator who regularly writes for newspapers and appears on Radio 4′s Thought For The Day, told The Independent last night: “The red line for me is that I am not able to sanction the use of force in the name of the Church to move the protesters on. There are other people who have different priorities and I respect those.”

The article went on to note that

George Pitcher, an Anglican priest and until earlier this year the Archbishop of Canterbury’s media adviser, said: “The Cathedral appears to be embarking on a strategy that will end with the eventual forced – and quite possibly violent – eviction of protesters which would damage the reputation of the Church of England for an entire generation. It’s bad enough to lose Giles Fraser… but somehow the Church has also managed to grab a PR disaster from the jaws of something which could have been really quite successful.”

The leader of the Church, Dr Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, was in Italy yesterday meeting the Pope and has been informed of the developments. There have been calls for him to make a statement on the issue, but one Church insider said [the Archbishop] would be “reluctant” to intervene as it would mean undermining the Bishop of London and the Dean of St Paul’s.

Or as the Mail put it so eloquently: Will beardy save the church martyr?

The Good Man Jesus

I was also reminded of another more-recent morality play, by Philip Pullman, which opposes the radical charismatic vision of Jesus with the formal structures of an established church.


Jim Mallinder hints at England’s rugby future … and its past

November 19, 2011

Jim Mallinder is currently front-runner to replace Martin Johnson as England’s chief coach of Rugby. His Northampton Saints team yesterday displayed the strengths and weaknesses of England’s recent international performances

The Saints began their Heineken Cup campaign with their coach Jim Mallinder tipped as a replacement for Martin Johnson. It was inevitable that closer comparisons are being made between the style of Northampton under Mallinder and England under Johnson.

Sean Edwards backs Mallinder

I watched Northampton play the Scarlets yesterday [18th Nov 2011]. Before the [Sky] transmission, Sean Edwards offered positive views on Mallinder. Edwards had several qualifications for offering his opinions. He is an important part of the coaching squad which helped produce the currently successful Welsh national team.

The match

The match was an interesting one if deeply flawed with technical errors. I was struck by the similarities in style of the Northants team and England’s teams since before their glorious World Cup victory led by Martin Johnson and coached by Clive Woodward, nearly two decades ago.

Plan A

Plan A for The Saints (and England) is establishing dominance through powerful forwards. When it works it is very effective.

Not ‘one side playing, the other clapping’

But Rugby like other sports is not case of one side playing and the other clapping. As in game theory, any strategy interacts with that of the opponents. The Dragons arrived with leading members of the Welsh squad including Rhys Priestland and George North.

Plan A for the Scarlets is to rely on a young, strong and talented back division which can overcome limited possession against the strongest forward s of opposing teams. Much the same can be said of the Welsh international team at present.

When Plan A doesn’t work…

When Plan A doesn’t work, (often in hindsight) a different plan is called for. Plan A was expected to work for Northampton partly because they rarely lose at home. Their track record internationally is better than the Scarlets over a period of years.

Plan A seemed to be working for the Saints, as The Scarlets struggled to win ball from the scrums. But Northampton could not execute the plan. It could be said that the plan was fine, and it was its execution that failed. Much the same is said by disappointed strategists in business. In any event, there is always a need for a plan that can be implemented…

After the match, the inquests

After the match, the inquests:

Northampton Saints rugby director Jim Mallinder: “I think we were well beaten. I’m very disappointed with the way that we played. Scarlets came here and kicked very well and we didn’t handle that. We turned over too much ball and didn’t play the conditions as well as they did.”

Scarlets coach Nigel Davies: “We had to play a very good game of rugby to get a result here and that is what we did. This is pretty big against a side of Northampton’s quality. I don’t think they have lost a European encounter at home since 2007 so it is a big scalp for us. We have to build the momentum. The big thing has been belief, believing we can come to places like this.”

Like country like club?

Am I reading too much into the evidence of one game? As a student of management rather than rugby I guess so. But Northampton Plan A could be at least a metaphor for England Plan A. Even in losing, the Saints showed considerable muscular talent. The game last night at least goes some way to explain why Jim Mallinder is tipped as a future England coach. It may even explain why so often we get the leaders we deserve.


Martin Johnson resigns. Another example of weak sporting governance?

November 17, 2011

Martin Johnson resigned as a scapegoat for England’s recent World Cup performances both on and off the field. But the Governance of the English Rugby Union leaves much to be desired

It is partly the culture within Rugby Union that appointments are made with more attention paid to heroic on-field exploits than to any job description of a manager or head coach. This partly explains the appointment of the Captain of England’s only successful World Cup campaign

At the time of his arrival as head coach, [April 2008] the English Press were largely enthusiastic about the appointment. The main criticism was that the incumbent, Brian Ashton, had been fired in unseemly haste to pave the way for Johnson.

An ill-judged appointment?

In a LWD post I was less convinced, noting that the appointment might be ill-judged. Johnson had no coaching experience, a fact glossed over in the reports of his appointment.

Charisma

Martin Johnson was believed to bring the charisma and leadership on the field to a completely different type of leadership job as England manager.
Distributed leadership.

The Board wanted Clive Woodward back

It became clear that the Rugby authorities recognised the need for distributed leadership, hankering after Johnson’s own World Cup manager Clive Woodward. However, Woodwood had never been able to negotiate adequate powers to make he post a success, and remains a leader in waiting.

Rob Andrews

The chief executive role is held by Rob Andrews. Johnson departed with considerable dignity. Sharing a platform when Johnson announced his retirement, Andrews rejected enquiries whether he too should resign. Johnson departed with considerable dignity. Andrews has come under criticism for his role and his unwillingness to accept personal responsibility for shortcomings.


Border Crossings: Brodie Clark and Rob Whiteman add their stories to that of Theresa May

November 15, 2011

Brodie Clark and his manager Rob Whiteman of the Border Authority appear before the House of Commons Home Affairs Select Committee. Clark resigned his post after being suspended in order to be able to testify openly to the committee. His suspension followed severe criticism from Home Secretary Theresa May. The conflicting testimonies promises future political dramas

The context

The story is difficult to capture in one post. The context is covered in The Guardian which portrays the Home Secretary as under political threat.

In the same newspaper, a detailed account of the Select Committee proceedings today [Nov 15th 2011] and further background to the case can be found in Andrew Sparrow’s blog.

The story is of interest for its insights into leadership dilemmas and behaviours.

My notes at the time:

I followed the entire session as it was transmitted by the BBC. I did not intend to do that, but it was gripping viewing, and quickly sent me scrambling for my lap top computer. My initial notes are reproduced, with additional comments [in parentheses]

BC [Brodie Clark] is convincing and considered in his responses. Assertion he is ‘no rogue officer’ Powerful. Indicates ‘a possible conflation‘ [mixing up two distinct entities) between a Pilot and ‘Custom and practice [of the Pilot trial supported by Home Secretary Theresa May, and established procedures in a 2007 operational document].
Rob Whiteman’s evidence started rather badly. Seemed unwilling to supply a key memo to committee [ He] Believed info had to be sent to an on-going investigation. Committee not pleased. RW concedes only to check if it’s OK before complying. Chair [Keith Vas] makes the committee’s powers to order compliance clearer.
Main focus [of testimony] at start [is] the 24 hours when RW met and next day [when he] suspended BC.

Says ‘Suspension is a neutral act…’ [but was it common…for someone 5 weeks in post?]

Says the suspension was ‘normal’ [later repeating] ‘in organizations’.

His statement less convincing for me. Why? Insistent that he made the right decisions.

Vas ends session asking for more transparency [than the committee had obtained from the Agency chiefs in the past].
RW said he [wanted to and ] would be transparent.

A few reflections

The notes above help me keep my reflections more aligned with initial observations [good for transparency?].

The committee now has to consider the testimonies and explore them for credibility. Beyond the rationality of the arguments is the impression made by the two main protagonists.

Two elements within Mr Whiteman’s testimony made an impression on me. He found it difficult to accept an invitation to acknowledge Mr Clark’s distinguished career. Secondly, his explanation of the manner of his suspension of Brodie Clark did not stack up with my experience of studying organizations over a lengthy period. His statement that the procedure was ‘normal in organizations’ cried out for a follow-up question. It was far from normal leadership behaviour in the hundreds of organisations with which I am familiar.

The Political Soap

The wider story has the makings of a political soap. Meryl Streep, of course, would make a very suitable Theresa May. I’m still working on the other leading players…


Three interesting facts about IBM today

November 15, 2011

Three interesting facts about IBM. It has shifted away from reliance on marketing computers. It has appointed a female insider as leader. And Warren Buffett has invested heavily in the oldest of technological giants.

Although this is a story about IBM, it is also one about Warren Buffett, pictured here, arguably a very atypical business leader. (Maybe there is no ‘typical’ business leader, but that’s a digression).

Decline of the heroic leader

The decline in news stories about successful leaders has been noticeable since the heady days when I began collecting them for LWD some five years ago. Even the BBC has spotted the trend, identifying recent research which adds to suspicions of the hero-worship approach to studying CEOs.

That old war horse rides again

So it give me some pleasure to mention that old war-horse Warren Buffet, and IBM a company once lauded as the world’s biggest technological giant and now re-inventing itself as a software house. Buffett, who bought a railroad in his biggest acquisition, turned to a century-old technology company in the third quarter to help guard his Berkshire Hathaway Inc. against economic slumps.

Business Week outlines the developing story [15th Nov 2011]:

Buffett has [recently] spent more than $10 billion buying International Business Machines Corp. stock, his biggest investment in the period. The stake gives Berkshire 5.5 per cent of a company that has moved from competition with Apple and Dell to focus on providing business clients with software and services. IBM sold its personal-computer business in 2005 and has beaten the Dow Jones Industrial Average each year since.

Buffett, 81, [An ‘ageist ’ comment? But I would have mentioned it, too… ED, LWD] has built Berkshire to withstand recessions and market declines by seeking firms with lasting competitive advantages, or what he calls “moats.”

Buffet bucks leadership fashion

One endearing aspect of Warren Buffett stories is the manner in which he avoids fashion in his investment decisions and in his leadership style. It is hard to fit him into the mould of the corporate CEO identified with a great vision. His charisma is that of reputation rather than idealised influence.

Warren as a thought leader

It is easier to see him as a thought leader rather than a transformational figure. His company goes on succeeding as safe rather than innovative. His reputation is as a safe pair of hands, which places him in the category of ‘manager not leader’ according to one way of distinguishing between the two labels.

IBM’s revival

He has now become interested in IBM which has long passed through the stage of being labelled a technological innovator. It grows its own leaders internally, risking remaining within its famed IBM culture while failing to bring in the brightest charismatics that money can buy…

On the other hand

On the other hand, IBM is about to appoint as leader one of the few females in Corporate America’s boardrooms. Insider Virginia Rometty will take over from her mentor Sam Palmisano in January 2012. In an earlier post LWD covered her appointment

Acknowledgement

The image of Warren Buffett above is from Reg Trembley’s insightful blog The Director’s Cut.


Is there a ‘Leadership vacuum’ at Lloyds TSB?

November 14, 2011

António Horta-Osório

Reports are suggesting that Lloyds Bank faces a leadership vacuum since CEO Antonio Horta-Osorio look medical leave two weeks ago

The Leadership Dilemma

The leadership dilemma has been reported as one of dealing with shareholder discontent. According to the Sunday Telegraph [13th Nov 2011]:

Major institutional shareholders are concerned at the lack of information from the bank since Mr Horta-Osorio left on medical advice two weeks ago …a number of investors said that they had not been personally contacted by Glen Moreno, the senior independent director, or by Sir Win Bischoff, the chairman, about the issue.

The sentiment among investors is that even if Mr Horta-Osorio returns to full health, it would be difficult for him to return because of the signal his absence – the result of “extreme fatigue” – has given to investors.

“It is clear the job was too big for him,” said one top 15 shareholder.

Another investor questioned why the bank was not speeding up its internal contingency plan.

Behind the headlines

The Telegraph article suggests that the company has failed to have addressed the reactions of its shareholders to the departure of Mr Horta-Osorio. Looking behind the headlines, I wondered whether the story was encouraged by parties dissatisfied with the performance of the board, and would welcome news that would discredit them before rhe appointment of an internal figure as interim CEO (Mr Moreno has been considered as a favourite candidate).

Another possibility is that powerful institutional shareholders see opportunity to exercise more influence over the Board’s decisions

What didn’t happen

What appears not to have happened is for a rapid line of communications to have opened up with the most influential stakeholders. While ‘wait and hope’ may have been a consideration, it is often a dangerous kind of strategy under conditions of corporate turbulence.

To go more deeply

The textbook Dilemmas of Leadership examines the importance of trust based leadership[chapter 6] and the challenges presented by corporate turbulence [chapter 11].


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