&116/ The State of Leadership: The Second Coming. Why Do CEOs Return?

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Recently we asked: Why Do CEO/ CIO Employments End? Today it's: Why Do CEOs Return? Citations:

  • [Update January 8: Howard Schultz, Starbucks, January 2008: "We will focus on what is most important. We are committed to customer experience."]
  • Michael Dell, Dell, December 2007: "The old model ran its course, now it's time for a new course."
  • Jerry Yang, Yahoo!, June 2007: "The time for me is right. The time is now. The Internet is still young, the opportunities ahead are tremendous, and I'm ready to rally our nearly 12,000 Yahoos around the world to help seize them."
  • Jeffrey Citron, Vonage, April 2007: "The whole entire marketing strategy is going to be under review over the next few days."
  • Gerald Grinstein, Delta Air Lines, January 2004: "The ones that lacked flexibility, speed and determination have disappeared. The challenges Delta has now are revolutionary in nature."
  • Harry Stonecipher, Boeing, December 2003: "I need to convince all the constituencies that we have that we really are a company with high integrity, our people have great ethical values, and behave that way."
  • William Stavropoulos, Dow Chemical, December 2002: "Ultimately customer loyalty, market position, employee motivation and commitment as well as attraction and retention of the most talented people are all benefits we accrue as a result of a sustainable mindset."
  • Lawrence Bossidy, Honeywell, August 2001: "The idea is to stay independent now, to get the company back on its feet, to get the people re-engaged."
  • Kenneth Lay, Enron, August 2001: "There are absolutely no problems that had anything to do with Jeff's departure. There are no accounting issues, no trading issues, no reserve issues, no previously unknown problem issues. The company is probably in the strongest and best shape that it has ever been in."
  • Ted Waitt, Gateway, January 2001: "We are fortunate to have an aggressive and nimble management team with decades of industry experience, tremendous business acumen and total focus on client satisfaction and shareholder value. We need to get off to a fast start and we have a lot of work to do. I am confident that the team we have in place will execute against our proven strategy in order to deliver continued success."
  • Henry Schacht, Lucent, October 2000: ''We are back in the process of putting the company back on track."
  • Paul Allaire, Xerox, May 2000: "We do expect the turnaround to be there and be significant and therefore have an improvement in the second half and have good momentum going into 2001."
  • Steve Jobs, Apple, December 1996: "People keep trying to suck me in. They want me to be some kind of Superman. But I have no desire to run Apple Computer. I deny it at every turn, but nobody believes me.''

From an Ohio State University research paper:

"Rehiring is more likely after poor performance of the current CEO, if the former CEO performed well during his prior tenure and maintains strong connections to the firm, and the more intangible are the firm's assets. While the market reacts negatively to the rehiring announcement, the accounting and stock market performances of rehired CEO firms do not differ from those of a control sample over the two years following the turnover. Our evidence suggests that firms rehiring their former CEOs hire the best available candidate given the circumstances."

[Update January 8: Read BusinessWeek!]

Read Forbes! | Download the research paper!

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