Sometimes I wonder if boards think CEO is a throwaway job. Considering that boards used to have a ton of ex-CEOs on them, and given the historic bad choices that have badly hurt or destroyed companies, you’d think someone would have developed a decent process to pick a good CEO.
IBM, which just reported impressively good earnings, might be a good place to start if you were looking for one, given that it has done this, largely successfully, for a century. It identified candidates early, and you can see the impressive results from its training in Lisa Su’s execution at AMD.
You’d think that firms at least would learn from their mistakes. Old HP picked Carly Fiorina, who was a train wreck for the firm, then went to Mark Hurd who (before being fired) showcased that relevant skills were critical, and then followed him with Leo Apotheker and Meg Whitman — neither of whom had the requisite skills. (Ironically, when HP was spun out from HPE, Dion Weisler, Whitman’s pick, turned out to be excellent.)
Yahoo went from disaster CEO to disaster CEO and finally was sold for a small fraction of what it was worth
Intel now seems to have the second bad CEO since founder Andy Grove left the company, and I can’t imagine what the heck Andy Bryant (Intel’s chairman), was thinking in selecting and keeping Brian Krzanich at the helm.
In addition to Andy Bryant, there are three people on Intel’s board who should know better: Aneel Bhusri, who runs an HR firm; Reed E. Hundt, who provides strategic advice; and Gregory D. Smith, CFO and EVP for performance and strategy at Boeing. I wonder if they think they won’t be held accountable if Intel fails?
Sqoop sent me an alert on Krzanich’s SEC 4 filing for his problematic US$25M stock sale confirming he massively changed the amount of stock he was going to sell after he knew of the huge Intel security problem but before it was disclosed to the rest of us.
With an increasing number of folks suggesting Brian Krzanich should step down, I think it’s likely he will be gone by mid-year, and I have a suggestion for who should replace him.
Intel is a mess, but it got there largely due to bad CEO choices. What I think is particularly sad is that Paul Otellini, Brian’s predecessor, was a far better CEO for Intel than Brian Krzanich is. Sadly, like many CEOs forced out of their jobs, Paul died last year. Something else that should concern us more is the number of CEOs who decline rapidly after they leave that job.