a common lesson this year: The pay is great, but job security has rarely been shakier.
chief executive churn reflects a broader reality for the country’s business elite: An array of challenges—from
- increasing impatience on Wall Street and in boardrooms to
- a corporate landscape rapidly transformed by new technologies and rival upstarts
—have made the top job tougher and more precarious than just a few years ago
.. The typical CEO of a major company a decade ago resembled a ship captain “who could rally a group of people with a lot of process and procedures,” said Deborah Rubin, a senior partner at RHR International, a leadership-development firm. “Today’s CEO has to be much more like a race car driver,” she added. “You have to do the sharp maneuvers.”
.. Flush with more cash than ever, activist investors are pursuing bigger corporate prey.
.. Even GE CEO Jeff Immelt’s disclosure that he would depart this summer came amid brewing tensions with activist investor Nelson Peltz
.. Mr. Peltz’s Trian Fund Management LP had recently stepped up pressure on GE to cut costs more aggressively and boost profits, setting off speculation about when the longtime CEO might leave.
.. Growing shareholder clamor for quick results comes as new technologies are upending entire industries. If you run a retailer, for instance, “you are watching your whole market go away in just a matter of years,”
.. Likewise, Ford’s ouster of Mark Fields after less than three years in its highest job was the starkest sign yet of how tech players such as electric-car maker Tesla Inc. and Alphabet Inc.’s autonomous-car unit, Waymo, threaten the traditional auto sector.