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The End of The Tyrannical CEO

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The end of the tyrannical CEO

Picture the scene: a business news conference at a major paper twenty years ago.

The reporter has got a scoop – fairly hard evidence that the boss of a FTSE 100 company is a bully and a tyrant.

That he is aggressive, rude to the help, and talks over anyone who disagrees with him.

The City Editor, who may do all of those things himself, can’t see the issue. Maybe it’s a story about the pressures on CEOs these days, he ponders. About solid management techniques. About how you just can’t get the staff…

Times change, and that story more or less appeared in The Sunday Times this weekend, the subject being Stephen Bird of the *disemvowelled Abrdn, what was once Aberdeen Standard Life.

(*the genesis of this joke is in dispute. I think it was mine. FT Alphaville says otherwise. They are quick those boys.)

Anyway, two points. The first is that the paper wasn’t just going on one disenchanted ex-employee. It had the goods.

The second is that aggressive or bullying behaviour is no longer tolerated. (At least not if the business you run is struggling. Maybe you still get away with it if you are flying high.)

Indeed, not only is it no longer tolerated, it’s a screeching PR risk.

This is an improvement, no?

Press release of the day

Employers don’t care about their staff’s mental health, says from MHR. (Today is World Mental Health Day.)

More than half of respondents feel the need to hide mental health concerns at work.

This feels like one of those issues where there has been much talk and not enough action.

Tactical Bond are the two to buy.

Stories that will keep rolling

1) Is UK employment data signalling a recession or not?

2) How badly is the Bank of England’s market credibility damaged?

3) Is YouGov coining it from politicians desperate for polls?

4) Where has Robert Walters seen recruitment drop off?


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