There's a New Chief in Town.
We've changed our logo (look again), we've revised our design, we've added new columnists, and we've retooled our departments. But the real changes in Chief Executive are those of attitude, focus, and mission: Rather than merely being a magazine about CEOs, we've committed ourselves to becoming the leading source of intelligence for CEOs -- and for the people interested in CEOs.
We'll cover leadership issues. We'll outline the ideas, strategies and tactics that CEOs can use to create more effective organizations. Most important, we'll devote an increased amount of time, resources, and pages to covering the human side of being a CEO -- the hopes, fears, frustrations, and satisfactions of living inside one of the world's most difficult, and most rewarding, positions.
Why the change? Because the role of the CEO -- and, by extension, the nature of CEOs themselves -- has changed dramatically since Chief Executive was founded in 1977. Being a CEO is harder now than it was 24 years ago, and not merely because we're in a tough economy. Expectations are higher than ever for CEOs, even as patience -- on the part of shareholders, customers, employees, and other stakeholders -- drops to new lows. CEOs today are asked not just to lead, but to serve as visionaries, strategists, change agents, statesmen, diplomats, spokespersons, and brand icons -- all while returning outstanding revenues and profits and while making sure that their companies, their employees, and their partners are good corporate citizens in thousands of jurisdictions around the globe.
It's no wonder that the median tenure of a CEO has declined by 28 percent in 20 years -- to five years in 2000 from seven years in 1980.
On top of that, our culture's increasing interest in business and finance has transformed the boardroom into a stage and CEOs into celebrities. People want to know not just about a CEO's strategy, but about his or her personal life, too. Where does he live? Where does she vacation? What drives him or her to succeed? Feeding the public's insatiable curiosity about the lives of the rich and strategic while maintaining a semblance of private life may yet be the CEO's greatest challenge.
Unless, of course, that CEO -- like many others -- sees his or her role as shaping not just new products or new companies around the world, but new economies as well. More and more CEOs are expanding their corporate missions beyond the wall of their own companies, to include leadership on issues that benefit not just customers, shareholders, and employees, but society at large. The CEO's office -- whether a mahogany-paneled library or a plain-vanilla cubicle -- is a bully pulpit for change. Helping CEOs to use this power--and to use it wisely--will be a key challenge for the new Chief Executive.
That expanded mission demands that Chief Executive expand its boundaries. Our new portfolio of responsibilities requires not only a sharper focus and a harder edge than readers have seen from Chief Executive in the past, but also a deeper investigation into the lives, aspirations, and motivations of the world's most influential leaders--the CEOs of major global corporations. We'll offer clear-eyed reporting of their successes -- and their failures -- in ways that illuminate, educate, and entertain other CEOs and CEO-aspirants. We'll offer deep analysis of what works--and what doesn't--throughout the full range of CEO responsibilities, from managerial to financial to inspirational. And we'll offer a variety of opinions -- new, old, right, left, infuriating, invigorating--on the vagaries of the CEO life.
Like any change in direction, ours is a work in progress. Proud as we are of the more than 80 pages of new features, columns, and departments in this issue, we believe the best is yet to come--next month, next year, and beyond. Our optimism is born of the knowledge that this new Chief Executive is the result not just of a year's worth of editorial planning, but also of more than two decades worth of conversation with CEOs and other friends of the magazine.
Your comments and theirs have made the new Chief Executive something we're eager to share--now and in the future.
Let us know what you think.
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|Publication:||Chief Executive (U.S.)|
|Date:||Aug 1, 2001|
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