CEOs: You’re less important for your company’s success than you think

Research shows that performance depends more on where a company is located than a leader's skills.

by Arturo Bris

In March 2021, Danone’s chief executive Emmanuel Faber was forced by institutional investors to resign on the grounds that the food maker’s stock market performance was lagging behind its peers. This was mainly due to Faber’s focus on sustainability at the expense of profits.

Two years earlier, Apple released the disappointing news that it was cutting revenue and profitability expectations for the first quarter of its 2019 fiscal year.

At that point, analysts blamed Tim Cook, the company’s chief executive, and unfavourably compared his performance with that of his predecessor, Steve Jobs. They expressed views such as: "if Steve Jobs were alive today, this would not have happened" or, "seven years after Jobs' death, Apple starts to crumble."

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