Being Mean is So Last Millennium

BusinessWeek has a nice blurb on the difference between Robert J. Nardelli and James W. McNerney after they both lost the bid to succeed Jack Welch at GE. One was gracious, one was bitter. They then moved into their new jobs at Home Depot and Boeing, both receiving huge pay packages with much fanfare. Yet one believed love is the killer app, and one was an asshole. And now, the asshole is canned:

Nardelli clearly cared about Home Depot. When it came to measures like profitability, his push was paying off. What he neglected was the touchy-feely stuff: the enthusiasm of his people, a sense of humility before his board, the care and feeding of his shareholders. It all seems so soft and irrelevant, until the injured egos decide to fight back.

(Hat tip:

4 Responses to Being Mean is So Last Millennium

  1. Zoli Erdos says:

    Of course with his outrageous $210M package there is a lot of speculation that this exit did not really hurt him…

  2. krishna says:

    While GE is a great source for managerial talent, it drives home the point – style (of leadership) matters over substance.

    You can’t have a successful implant if the tissues don’t match. The system simply rejects it.

  3. kim says:

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  4. paris says:

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