Monday, May 09, 2011
This is interesting -- a CEO who admits that he has taken a message too far. General Electric's CEO Jeff Immelt now says he shouldn't have talked about saving the environment as much as he did. The problem is that some investors started to believe he was more committed to the environment than to building General Electric. What this highlights is the tricky path CEOs navigate when they talk about issues. Investors tend to be short-sighted -- what have you done for me lately. CEOs have to serve investors' short-term interests while positioning their companies for five and 10 years out. It is a hard communications task, and CEOs often stumble. It is unusual, however, to see a CEO who admits that he erred.