Bad Company: The Cult of the CEO

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Black Incorporated, 2003 - Business & Economics - 135 pages
In the second Quarterly Essay of 2003, Gideon Haigh scrutinises the way we have turned CEOs into tin gods. Is moral outrage the appropriate response to the collapses of Enron or HIH or are we all implicated in a crazy system? Haigh argues that the attempt to create great entrepreneurs of the new caste of CEOs by giving them shares is doomed to failure and inherently absurd. In a tough-minded, vigorous demolition job on the culture that produced the cult of the CEO, Haigh writes a mini-history of business and shows how the classic traditions of capitalism are mocked by the managerialism of the present.

"The world where the CEO is deemed to be a 'genius' at least equal to a great actor or a great sportsman is a world in which ... Gideon Haigh refuses to believe." —Peter Craven, Introduction

"The making of the modern CEO has been a story of more: more power, more discretion, more ownership, more money, more demands, more expectations and, above all, more illusions. More, as so often, has brought less ..." —Gideon Haigh, Bad Company

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Review: Bad Company: The Cult of the CEO (Quarterly Essay, #10)

User Review  - Ben Eldridge - Goodreads

Exceptionally well-written examination of the history of corporations, and the absurdity of the looping effect inherent in commoditizing the role of the CEO. The extent and depth of research is ... Read full review

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About the author (2003)

Gideon Haigh has worked as a journalist for the Bulletin, the Guardian, the Times and the Monthly. As an author he has written books on business, including The Battle for BHP and One of a Kind: The Story of Bankers Trust Australia 1969–1999, and cricket: among others, Silent Revolutions, Game for Anything, The Green and Golden Age and All Out: the Ashes 2006–07. His latest book is Good Enough: The Ashes 2009.

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