I was on CNBC this morning to discuss our latest candidate for our regular item on CEO's Who've Got to Go, otherwise known as "CEO See-Ya." I must say, much as I enjoy doing the program, I don't necessarily enjoy doing it at 7:30 a.m. One of the few perks of journalism is the ability to start the day hours after all those poor, overpaid executives have started theirs.
Anyhow, as I was discussing this months' candidate--W. Alan McCollough of Circuit City (access code required), who's not evil by any means but simply hasn't been able to shake the company out of its Best-Buy induced inferiority complex--I started thinking about why exactly there's been so much agita over the public firing of Carly Fiorina.
And then it hit me: It's because there's been so much malfeasance and generally yucky behavior in the corner office that people have forgotten that you can get fired simply for doing a good old-fashioned bad job.
Someone on the show asked me whether Mr. McCollough was really responsible for the 43% decline in Circuit City's stock price over five years, given the cards he'd been dealt. Well, it's true that there was a tough row to hoe over there. But please, if he's not responsible. who is? The job is called Chief Executive Officer. It's exceedingly well-paid. And if Carly or Alan or whomever can't make its bosses--the public shareholders--satisfied after 5 years, well, buh-bye.
Certainly if the rest of us didn't satisfy our bosses for five years, we'd be toast too. Right?