The Heros Farewell: What Happens When CEOs Retire

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Corbin took over as interim general manager of Raw last year when The Olympic Hero was forced to go on vacation, and the two have not been on the same terms since.

Jeffrey Sonnenfeld

However, many WWE fans will be hoping Angle faces off against one of the bottom three superstars in the picture, as the WWE Hall of Famer has a strong past with each one of them. They were together as a team until Benjamin and Haas were fired from the group by Angle in June The match that is the most likely to happen though is Angle vs Cena. The time world champion has already teased a possible Angle WrestleMania match on his Instagram account this week. Sonnenfeld attended public schools in Cheltenham and Abington townships in suburban Montgomery County, Pennsylvania and was an active school leader.

At age 26, he joined the faculty of the Harvard Business School where he taught for 10 years. He published his first two articles in the Harvard Business Review at age His later books focused on executive careers and succession studies. His work on strategic staffing presented a model of four types of cultures: baseball teams; clubs; academies; and fortresses.

In studying the succession of a generation of prominent business leaders, he revealed two frequently misunderstood motives of leaders, in late career: Heroic Mission - a quest for immortal legacy and Heroic Stature - a quest for renown identity. He also developed a typology of departure styles labeled: monarchs; ambassadors; generals; and governors. These events produced many firsts such as the first educational forum for media leaders which unified entertainment; journalism, technology, and telecom leaders and the first financial services leadership events to unite insurance, banking, mutual funds, investment banks, and savings and loan leaders with top government regulators.

While at Emory, Sonnenfeld was heavily involved in the Atlanta community, working as an advisor to the leadership of the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games; a member of the Governor's Personnel Review Commission; and a commissioner of the local county economic development council.

He ran his previous employer, San Diego startup Graviton, right into the ground without accomplishing any of the things he promised. And before that he created one of the most unpleasant employee cultures at US West, while earning the nickname "US Worst" for their terrible service. Sol's departing comments are typical of his style - blame the problems on someone or something else and always take credit for others' work.

The real issue is his incompetence and the incompetence or blindness of those who hire him. He likes to leave that off his resume I was one of the executives at Graviton, though I have not been following his career and didn't even know that he had left Telstra and returned to the US until recently - though I have suspected that he has been aiming in that direction for some time. My perspective is that Sol is sort of a tragic figure who - if you think about it - has failed at most of what he has tried to do; even as he has managed to get a very good salary in the process. When US West and Quest merged he lost out to Joe Nacchio for the CEO job, and when he came to Graviton he simply spent money to hire former US West executives at very high salaries to support him and build the company into a Fortune company quickly.

I think he totally failed to see that you have to grow a start up company into a basic revenue producing one before you can head for Fortune status, and so he spent all of the money and then couldn't raise more. With his many trips to New York, Spain, Italy, etc. It was interesting to those of us who worked there that he sort of left out any references to Graviton in his bio until others kept pointing it out I told you he had good PR people.

The Orange job was a very short one and it seems to me that he didn't accomplish much there - though his PR people did claim he had accomplished what he had set out to do.


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I heard that he just barely had time to resign before he was to be fired. I was quite surprised to read that, after he stepped down, he ranted about Australians being "racists".

This is a charge he leveled at people who didn't agree with him over 10 years ago and I guess it is part of his makeup. He claims to be a "global executive" and yet he fails to recognize that there are country cultural differences that, as a Chief Executive, you have to recognize and take into account.

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When I worked with him, it was Sol who stuck me as a bit racist. He was always pushing to hire more Hispanics, was overly sensitive about being Hispanic himself, and seemed to look for any hint that someone disliked him because of that. I will give him credit for convincing Boards of Directors to pay him a lot of money though. One of his former compensation people from another company told me once that he was always pushing the Board for a higher salary and more bonuses.

At least in that, I guess, he succeeded. I don't know what he is going to do in the US, but I just hope that any Board that considers him does careful due dilligence and doesn't give him the chance to ruin another company. It is very much a racist comment. It's too bad the Austrailian empire couldn't find anyone in your own country to run a large corporation like this. What does that have to say for your locals?

Your corporations reach outside to bring in talent because you have none there. You didn't deserve his leadership.

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While using Google recently I noticed a paid add for non other than Sol Trujillo. When I clicked on the banner ad I entered perhaps the slickest manifestation of over-the-top, hypo self promotion I've ever encountered. He now has apparently taken to using his Australian riches to pay advertising firms for a new chapter in his endless round of maniacal ego trips. Post a Comment.

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  • You should assume Mr. Hempton and his affiliates have positions in the securities discussed in this blog, and such beneficial ownership can create a conflict of interest regarding the objectivity of this blog. Statements in the blog are not guarantees of future performance and are subject to certain risks, uncertainties and other factors.

    Jeffrey Sonnenfeld

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    Voluntary transition of the CEO: owner CEOs' sense of self before, during and after transition

    In fact, it should not be relied upon in making investment decisions, ever. It is intended solely for the entertainment of the reader, and the author. In particular this blog is not directed for investment purposes at US Persons. As a group they have not covered themselves with glory — fat cats — overpaid and led their companies to ruin. But they have their strengths and their weaknesses.

    Farewell speech on retirement (English)