I’ve been wondering …. why is it that once someone reaches a certain level in an organization, it seems that even if they “fail” repeatedly and get fired (sometimes several times), they seem to re-surface months later in a similar (or better) job at another organization? And what does this say about Boards, CEO’s, and other senior managers that they often put their faith in “re-treads” instead of taking a chance on talented, high-potential (but non-pedigreed) “new blood”?
Case In Point
Last week, Hewlett Packard hired Leo Apotheker as its new CEO — seven months after Mr. Apotheker had been forced out of rival SAP after only seven months at the helm. While a number of publications have published harsh assessments of Apotheker’s tenure at SAP (and of his chances of succeeding at HP), my purpose isn’t to evaluate his prior performance per se (I don’t know Mr. Apotheker nor do I work in the hi-tech field or have direct insight into it). Rather, my purpose is to ponder the implications of a very public “failure” leading, only months later to a new and more prestigious role. Continue reading