So there are no CEOs in President Obama's cabinet. Given the near non-stop instances of criminal behavior and bad decision making to come out of the CEO corps for the last twenty years or so, whether it involved ridiculous overspending, insensible business plans, bubble inflation or outright fraud, I tend to think that leaving CEOs out of the Cabinet might just be a good thing. But there's one piece in this article I want to address in particular.
Still, some long-time White House observers find it noteworthy that when Obama convenes his best minds, there will be few people who have answered to shareholders as well as voters — people who know by intuition how the business community is likely to react to any given day’s news.Here's the big lie--that CEOs are answerable to their shareholders. They're not, not in any real sense anyway. CEOs are answerable to their Boards, but the number of CEOs who have walked away from their companies with huge compensation packages after having run said companies into the ground are proof enough that they're not beholden to the shareholders, because shareholders would have strung some of these people up by their nads well before they were eventually shown the door.
And really, how unique (and how valuable) is the ability to suss out how the business community is going to react to the day's news? Again, part of the reason we're in our current economic fix is because we've focused on the short term instead of the long term.
Now it's true that all CEOs are not the same, and that some, perhaps many, have had the long term interests of their companies in mind, and those folks, I would say, would be perfect for the Obama administration, should he choose to tap that source of talent. But there's nothing inherently notable about being a CEO that should make him or her a good Cabinet member, so if President Obama doesn't have one in his Cabinet, I don't see why that's a big deal.