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The cult of the CEO
In Bad Company Gideon Haigh scrutinises the way we have turned CEOs into tin gods. Is moral outrage the appropriate response to the collapses of Enron or HIH or are we all implicated in a crazy system? Haigh argues that the attempt to create great entrepreneurs of the new caste of CEOs by giving them shares is doomed to failure and inherently absurd.
In a tough-minded, vigorous demolition job on the culture that produced the cult of the CEO, Haigh writes a mini-history of business and shows how the classic traditions of capitalism are mocked by the managerialism of the present.
Correspondence discussing Quarterly Essay 10, Bad Company:
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The world where the CEO is deemed to be a 'genius' at least equal to a great actor or a great sportsman is a world in which ... Gideon Haigh refuses to believe.
Haigh should be showered with blessings for producing a book which not only says boo to these geese, but has the figures and the historical perspective to back itself up. There’s even some good business advise in there.
Of all the extraordinary corporate stories of the 1990s, none has been more powerful than what Gideon Haigh wants to call the cult of the CEO.
A cogent and elegant argument.
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