From Publishers Weekly
This is an intermittently engaging hodge-podge of war stories by current and former CEOs and associated advisers and observers. A few of the essays, like former DuPont CEO John Kroll's account of cutting environmental waste along with 40,000 jobs, delve into actual managerial issues. Most, though, deal with the political role of the CEO. Ex-Northwest Airlines CEO John Dasburg tells of selling his board on a new strategy and then liquidating holdovers (75 percent of upper and middle managers) from the old regime. Merck CEO Raymond Gilmartin adopted a less ruthless approach of holding endless rounds of discussions with managers and promoting from within. Shareholder rights activist Nell Minnow urges boards of directors to keep a close eye on the CEO, while Ed Breen, new CEO of scandal-rocked Tyco had to fire his entire board. Ex-Office Depot chief David Fuentes reminds readers not to alienate the powers that be in his story of how the Federal Trade Commission blocked a proposed merger with Staples (he shifts blame to the "angry and hostile posture of our attorneys"). Goldman Sachs vice chairman Robert Hurst warns CEOs, unconvincingly, that pressuring analysts for favorable stock recommendations won't work anymore. Former DaimlerChrysler PR executive Christoph Walther admonishes CEOs to "never answer a hypothetical question," while Economist editor Matthew Bishop, with seeming self-interest, advises them not to stint on schmoozing with reporters. The lessons here are too contradictory and ad hoc to add up to a coherent primer, but new CEOs (and the larger audience of wannabes) will find some interesting food for thought.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From the Inside Flap
LESSONS FOR EVERYONE IN BUSINESS FROM AN ALL-STAR TEAM
Every six months Dennis C. Carey and Marie-Caroline von Weichs run the CEO Academy, an immersion course for newly appointed CEOs of the world?s leading companies?what Business Week called a ?boot camp? for the next class of top executives. Those attending get a priceless range of unvarnished advice and invaluable lessons from an all-star team of veteran CEOs about how to get the results they were hired to achieve.
What participants pay $10,000 to hear is now contained in this book, the insights and secrets of some of the most influential business leaders of our time. Here is advice from high-caliber businesspeople such as Larry Bossidy, the recently retired CEO of Honeywell International; Ray Gilmartin, the CEO of Merck; John Smale, the former chairman of General Motors and retired chairman and CEO of Procter & Gamble; and John Dasburg, who has run Northwest Airlines, Burger King, and now DHL Airways.
Successful CEOs aren?t the only attraction. How to Run a Company also presents America?s leading business observers and watchdogs: Nell Minow, the shareholder rights activist; Ira Millstein, the legendary attorney and power broker; Matthew Bishop, business editor of The Economist; and Joseph Badaracco, Harvard Business School?s top professor of ethics.
The combined team offers original and revealing observations on how business leaders at the top of the corporate world tackle pressing challenges, such as:
? How an industrial goliath like DuPont dramatically shifted its business focus
? How The Home Depot changed from fast-growing, free-wheeling adolescence to the management discipline that will help it mature and continue to expand
? What Michael Armstrong, who oversaw the transformation of Hughes Electronics and AT&T, advises to companies whose core business begins to disappear
? How the CEO of Tyco moved quickly during his first 100 days to build a new senior management team and began to restore trust in a company battered by scandal and bad publicity
? The role of the board of directors and how corporate governance should be reformed
? What strategies Jack Welch?s investor relations team at GE used to constantly probe who was buying the stock, who wasn?t, and whyHow to Run a Company
is not just for CEOs, but anyone interested in the critical make-or-break factors in today?s ever-challenging business environment. As the demands and expectations in business become ever greater and the competition tougher, here in one volume is the accumulated wisdom and experience of people who have been in the trenches during a remarkable time. How to Run a Company
is the success manual for the twenty-first century.