One of the most culturally blind CEO’s is gone. Robert L. Nardelli was terminated by his Board—albeit with a $210 million exit package. (For interesting reading check out his employment contract) A companion article claims that Nardelli’s ousting should serve as a warning to other CEOs, but I find that debatable. His Board backed him for six years, unlike the 100 day window, pushed by Wall Street.
But the article I found really interesting was an analysis on how well the vaunted GE managers do when transplanted.
Although business similarities were cited in moves that worked, much of it came down to culture. Change is difficult even when the CEO is promoted from within—think Jeff Immelt moving GE to a culture of innovation.
Nardelli combined a stomp-the-culture attitude with a mind-boggling level of arrogance for results that were terrible for investors, customers and employees—but great for the competition.
Success often comes down to culture, not just for the CEO, but also for the company.
In today’s fast moving business environment and global competition, the best CEOs mind their metrics and their cultures.