Greenberg puts pressure on retail CEOs
Jack Flack of Conde Nast Portfolio writes Sunday how Marketwatch columnist Herb Greenberg has put pressure on the CEOs of Office Depot and Circuit City, whom he named as candidates to be the worst CEO of the year, along with the recently fired CEO of Sears.
Flack wrote, “But Greenberg’s column, if institutionalized as an early-January rite, has implications beyond Lewis, Shoonover and Odland. After all, it’s one thing to tag, as Greenberg did, the worst CEO of the year that’s just ended, when the dumb risk-taking, feckless strategies and catastrophic results can’t be denied. But saying an executive blew it last year is far less damaging than publicly assuming that an executive lacks the competence to not blow it in the coming year. And what board member or major shareholder wants the ugly optics of their guy carrying the ‘worst’ label?
“Is that unfair? Not at all, because past behavior often serves as a highly reliable predictor of future behavior, and because the current list shows a prejudice for nominees who have personally dug themselves into big holes already.
“But if Greenberg institutionalizes the ‘worst-of-the-year-to-come’ device, it potentially could become one of the most powerful self-fulfilling prophecy mechanisms in business news.”
Read more here.Â