Looking For A Quarterback? Check The Bench First
Regarding your story "CEO wanted. No insiders, please" (The Corporation, Aug. 12), all the credible evidence points toward the selection of an insider vs. an outsider as CEO. Insiders can turn around companies and change cultures as well as outsiders (John Welch Jr., General Electric; August Busch III, Anheuser-Busch; James Houghton, Corning). In fact, insiders usually know much more about what needs to be done to improve organizational performance.
The deeper-seated problem lies in companies' failure to attract, retain, and develop their own management talent. Boards should take a more active role in developing their companies' bench strength. Then, maybe they won't be looking for quick-fix cures by outsiders.
Stanley D. Truskie
Management Science & Development