By Emily Krohn
The Business Week article “Survivor: CEO Edition” offered an interesting look on what it really takes to run multi-million dollar companies in one of the worst markets in history. Here’s a hint: it’s even harder when you’ve just been put on the job.
The CEO’s profiled in the article are considered rookies by their peers. Most came into their position at the beginning of the financial meltdown in 2008 and somehow have lasted to March 2010. This resilience is what amazes their critics, peers, and me, a regular consumer.
Granted, the inner workings of the Molson Coors beer brewing company do not really interest me. The fact that CEO Peter Swinburn sets up town hall like meetings with employees to encourage them to think outside the box does. What about luxury goods sales? Diane Irvine, CEO of Blue Nile (an online jewelry retailer) needed to make her companies products more marketable at a time where people don’t have a lot of extra money to spend on special things. To make up for this fact, she gave Blue Nile’s website a face-lift and expanded it to include more search options and to accept 23 different forms of currency. Who says change isn’t for the better?
Over the past year or so, we have been trained to think that the people in charge of business are the ones who are causing the problem. Unemployment, low wages, rising gas prices and everything in between has been blamed on those “in charge”. That is obviously not all true and this article seeks to change that preconceived notion. The CEO’s of every major company are under more pressure than ever and truly do not thrive off of the idea of letting employees go or having pay cuts. They know that, just like everyone else, they can be out of work in the blink of an eye. That fact makes them work extra hard, and, as the article points out, its not easy, but they are making a difference. So whether you’re buying a beer or a diamond ring, think about the time and effort that goes in by the CEO to make sure that you’re getting what you want and that they, in fact, are doing a job well done.