The end of the ‘rock star’ CEOPosted: November 22, 2009 Filed under: democracy at work, Democratic Principles, Management Innovation, workplace democracy | Tags: anonymous bosses, Bob Nardelli of Home Depot, Carly Fiorina of Hewlett-Packard, decentralized democratic organizational model, Democratic Companies, Democratic Principles, Dennis Kozlowski of Tyco, Jeff Skilling of Enron, Management Innovation, rock star CEOs, Sarbanes-Oxley, the cult of the faceless boss, top-down hierarchcal system, workplace democracy, workplace jerks Leave a comment
A story published earlier this month on the Economist discussed the recent trend of companies preferring “anonymous” bosses to the “rock star” CEOs who were popular in previous decades. “The corporate world is increasingly rejecting imperial chief executives in favour of anonymous managers.”
We believe that this shift represents another stage in the ongoing evolution in the typical organizational structure – from a top-down, hierarchical system to a decentralized, democratic organizational model.
“The fashion for faceless chief executives is part of an understandable reaction against yesterday’s imperial bosses, many of whom were vivid characters. Some, such as Jeff Skilling of Enron and Tyco’s Dennis Kozlowski, broke the law and helped inspire a dramatic tightening of government regulation, in the form of the Sarbanes-Oxley legislation. Others, such as Home Depot’s Bob Nardelli and Hewlett-Packard’s Carly Fiorina, paid themselves like superstars but delivered dismal results.“
Talented, motivated, and innovative professionals are no longer willing to work for arrogant dictators in exchange for a sizeable paycheck. Instead, employees are becoming more and more selective about the quality and type of work environment that their employers offer, and they are increasingly seeking award-winning employers that share decision-making powers and that do not tolerate workplace jerks.
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