|The era of the kinder CEO is fading |
Chief executive officers are ditching a softer approach as the economy shows signs of difficulty, reports the Wall Street Journal. As the economic outlook worsens, corporate bosses are bringing back blunt demands, performance reviews and telling employees to reconsider spending on trips. The CEO of Alphabet, Google’s parent company, told staff last month to work with “greater urgency, sharper focus, and more hunger than we’ve shown on sunnier days.” Meanwhile, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in late July that the Facebook owner needs to operate with greater intensity “and I expect us to get more done with fewer resources.” Ellen Kullman, chairwoman of 3-D printing company Carbon Inc. and former CEO of DuPont, observes: “In the good times, we want to focus people on the growth aspects . . . But when the economy appears to have the potential for that downturn, it’s fundamentals 101. It’s: How do I conserve cash? How do I focus the team to emerge from whatever this is stronger?” Now, “I hear from different CEOs that it is a little bit of a tougher talk,” Ms. Kullman said.