One word: CEO


Tech companies

Before introducing today’s topic, let me ask you something. Take 30 seconds to write down tech companies that, from your point of view, have been great in the past but are not doing so well these days.


Is Apple on your list?



Well, if you’re reading this article on your iPad, I guess it is not. A suggestion: read the newspapers or watch the news because clearly, you are missing something.

So why is Apple not performing as usual? We can say it is because their new strategy, marketing, growing competition or whatever reason you can imagine. But, truth must be told: CEO’s impact on Apple has been devastating.

If you are considering a Management role in the future, let me introduce you some of the characteristics according to PhD in Management –  that you must develop to be “a good one”, or as Mourinho would love to say, “the special one”:

  • Integrity
  • Optimism
  • Confidence
  • Team player

Let’s reflect about Steve Jobs and Tim Cook separately. Do you see any difference when applying these qualities to them? To be honest: not at all. Why?

Tim Cook

Tim Cook

The answer, in my opinion, is strongly related to the kind of business and the current environment. All these characteristics are applicable to a good manager…in a usual company. But if we speak about revolutionary tech companies, we need more than those. According to The Guardian, these are the new qualities relevant for a future Leader – among others:

  • Creativity.
  • Courage.
  • Intuition.
  • Ability to inspire.


Firstly, Tim Cook has a clear lack of creativity. He is indeed an expert on Supply Chain’s matters but he definitely needs to think out of the box and surprise us with a great new product. Perhaps iWatch will be the product we are asking for – I don’t think so though, but let’s give it a try. On the other hand, Cook has never been very charismatic. Jobs was greatly capable of inspiring anyone meanwhile Cook, well, he does not seem so motivator. After all, gossips about replacing him do not then sound so unlikely.

In conclusion, often General Managers or Leaders are greatly criticized by their decisions (think about politics for a good example) and we are right to be critical as we understand how big their impact is on our company. However, it is not just a matter of their decisions but also their personality, behavior and skills. CEO skills development is as important as the process to select them for driving your business. Therefore, the guilt is not only in the result but also in the process. Anyway, firing the manager has always been the easiest way out.

Oh, sorry! I should go, my iPhone is ringing.

Antonio Gonzalez


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