Michael Walsh's Example
No leaders are perfect, they all have flaws, and you hope the ones they have are not tragic flaws.
The role model of how to handle an illness serious enough to concern the Street is the late Michael Walsh, who had an inoperable brain tumor when CEO of Tenneco in the early 1990s. He was very courageous and open and honest. He told the board about his illness and said that as long as his doctors said he was functioning well enough to be CEO he would stay in the saddle. He said he did not want to go and sit on a rock and die, that he was a CEO in his DNA and would add value in that role as long as the doctors and board agreed. The Street knew, the press knew, and he turned over the leadership when he was still functioning well. He ultimately passed away.
As for Steve Jobs, he is great entrepreneurial leader, though not great at transparency. (We might even question some of the stuff on dated stock options a few years ago). We hope he has been good a selecting his successor. His handling of this issue is not a best practice but a bad practice.
Posted by: YuvalBar-Or | July 1, 2009 11:14 AM
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