The Experience of the CEO

In today’s business environment, the personality and the experience of the chief executive officer (CEO) plays a major role in determining and driving a firm’s strategy formulation and implementation with a view to getting the objectives of a company achieved. For instance, the three CEOs David Joos, Jack Welch and Samuel Palmisano of CMS, GEs and IBM companies respectively greatly to attest to this fact. As Robert, (1998) observes the need for the experience and personality in any company emanates from the need to differentiate a leader’s intellectual expertise and clever responsiveness from the ability to make rational decisions and take decisive steps that promote efficiency and reliability.

Before formulating a strategy and implementing it, there are a number of different levels that CEO must accomplish before making a conclusive judgment which Grant, (2000) puts them as: presupposition, setting a motion, appropriate language selection, logical discussion, and the final decision. This process, as Levinson & Rosenthal (2008) put, therefore calls for an ardent CEO since the strategies that will result will have either a positive or negative effect to the company. The base of all this strategy formulation and implementation seems to call for the CEOs to be great critical thinkers who are able to sail through the aforementioned levels with a view to developing a sure-fire critical thinking model in their strategy and policy formulation.

CMS Energy’s David W. Joos who is 56 years old, has served as President and Chief Executive Officer of this company for over five years now. He has also served as President and Chief Operating Officer of CMS Energy and Consumers Energy and still as the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer in the same company.  In 2000 he was the President and Chief Executive Officer. Furthermore, David Joos is a director of Steelcase, Inc., the Edison Electric Institute, the Michigan Manufacturers Association and the Detroit Renaissance Inc. it is no doubt that it is his hard earned personality and the experience amassed over the years, that enables him to formulate strategies that have seen the company’s energy businesses, taking into account Consumers Energy, Independent power production and the gas storage and supplies, remain great assets and sources of huge profits.

Samuel Palmisano on the other hand, since 2002, he has been the Chief Executive Officer of International Business Machines Corp. (termed as IBM Corporation) besides being its President for well over seven years now. As a realization of his career, he has also been the President and Chief Operating Officer of IBM Hong Kong Limited for nine years and also couples as its Chief Executive Officer. Samuel Palmisano has also served as the Chief Operating Officer of International Business Machines Corp. He has served in this career since 1973 giving him thirty six years of objective experience and above all attaching a professional tag on his personality as one who has mastered all the requirements of a 21st century CEO.

IBM Corporation is among the leading companies in computer and electronic production and the financial achievements that Samue Palmisano has bought on board for this company can be overemphasized. He brought to realization successful financial initiative like the IBM credit LLC and the IBM Global Services that have gone a long way in marketing the company far and beyond This Company is rated among the strongest in this area of business venture and competes closely with companies like Dell, Samsung, Toshiba and other computer assembling companies. The experience of the various CEO’s in this company gets the attributes for the successes that have consistently placed this company to not only the position of financial stability but also to realms of quality goods production and supply.

In 1981, GE company was at the brink of downfall were it not for the timely appointment of Jack Welch as the CEO.  Borrowing from his experience and personality, Welch was able to reconstitute the business portfolio and aim of GE by setting elimination of bureaucracy as is objective number one. He targeted to ensure that businesses under GE become and remain the world’s number one (or at worst number two) in production of quality services and goods and at relatively low costs. As many researchers have stated in many work, Welch’s strategy was defined and captured as slogan ‘fix it, sell it, or close it’ that still leaves on.

In a short period, GE sold 71 of its outlets and completed a further 118 business top deals as acquisitions, strategic alliances and investments with the proceeds used as sharpening tool for GE competitive edge.  He changed the strategic system of plan by reducing management levels from nine to four while at the same time redefining the role of the staff and doing what Hofer, (19987) calls the peeling off of several layers of the then redundant management.  He removed the then unnecessary documentation and replaced it with a more informal review of the company’s planning. He technically managed to unleash the full potential of the staff and ultimately getting high levels of production as a reward, and thus making GE a world class company.

To conclude, there are various examples that can be cited that affirm that the personality and the experience of a CEO count in the formulation and implementation of strategies. The ultimate challenge is for a company that aspires to make it in the this ever competitive world to design top-notch recruiting skills that will ensure that they chance upon gifted CEOs like the ones discussed in this paper.


Grant, R. (2000). Contemporary Strategy Analysis, New York: Blackwell Publishers.

Hofer, M. (19987). Strategy Formulation, West Group.

Levinson, H. & Rosenthal, S. (2008). CEO: Corporate Leadership in Action. University of Carlifonia: Basic Books.

Robert, M.  (1998). Strategy Pure and Simple Two New York: McGraw Hill.

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