Friday, January 25, 2013

When icons leave

Steve Jobs passes away, and even though Apple hit a lifetime high within a year after his death, Apple is now being derided as a company bereft of innovation. The stock fell below $500 yesterday.


Jim Skinner leaves McDonald's after 41 years of service in June 2012. McDonald's has one of its worst years in quite in a while in 2012.


Mark Hurd leaves Hewlett-Packard in 2010. The stock has lost about half of its value since then.


And it isn't just big companies.

Mellanox was having a banner few quarters until early September 2012. Its stock had risen from about $33 to begin 2012 to $120 by early September. It was not just beating expectations; it was trouncing them. Then, in September, the CFO announced that he was retiring. The stock immediately sank by $10. Since then, the company will have had three iffy quarters, and after yesterday's shellacking to the low 40s at one point, it has been slaughtered.


Of course, with time, things can -- and do -- turn around.


Leadership matters. It's more than just who these leaders are. It's obviously what they know. But it's also what they stand for and how they inspire.

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