It’s time for a bit of debate here on the bit-tech
blog, and I’d like your input. It’s a simple question that I am proposing: if you had the power, which CEO of a tech firm would you send packing?
In the course of reviewing the hundreds of components, peripherals, PCs and laptops that pass through our labs every year, there are always a few that are so staggeringly bad that they make you wonder quite what the company responsible is up to. Of course, in the big companies that dominate the tech world, the CEO is rarely directly involved in product design (unless we’re talking about Apple, where Steve Jobs is so involved he even gets his name on product design patents), but the CEO is, as the saying goes, the place where the buck stops.
Sometimes it’s not one particular crap product that makes you wonder what on earth a certain company is doing, but rather actions in the courts, or ad campaigns or quotes in interviews, product pricing or even customer service. These strategic decisions are much more directly connected to the CEO (and if they’re not, then the CEO is still dreadful because he’s not in control).
Of course, given the current economic climate a lot of companies are going through tough times (EA being the latest to announce a big loss
) which aren’t necessarily down to incompetent leadership, but I still think that if tech CEOs were transposed to an episode of The Apprentice
, Sir Alan Sugar (aka "Yes surallan") would be sending more than one over to BBC2 to commiserate with Adrian Chiles about how they were a massive loss to the man behind Amstrad.
I do have my own ideas as to who should be out, but for the time being I'm interested in hearing from you guys. Let me know who you think deserves the boot, and I’ll revisit this post in a week’s time to review your suggestions and add my own.