Finding the Right Mix in a CEO
NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Last Thursday Jim Cramer told his "Mad Money Recap" audience that "CEOs can provide that 'special sauce' " to companies that can make companies perform better and produce greater results. If you haven't seen the clip or read the article, you should. Cramer mentions Jim Skinner of McDonald's (MCD), Mickey Drexler of J. Crew (JCG) and Steve Jobs at Apple (AAPL), as examples of leaders whose presence and experience bring security to investors and provide an identity to the company that pays off in financial results.
I would suggest another CEO should be added to this list: Jon Rubinstein, CEO of Palm (PALM) and architect of the Palm Pre. Rubinstein brings to the company an identity of innovation that may prove to be its salvation. As one of the primary forces behind the Apple iPod, Rubinstein brings a force of leadership to the beleaguered technology firm. Although recently battered by slow plays in the marketplace (Palm introduced the smartphone only to be outdone by Apple and RIM (RIMM)), Palm is betting on Rubinstein to be the leader it needs to get back into a position of strength. Given his record of innovation, he might just be the one to do it.
These CEOs are not magical, nor is there anything mystical about their ability to define their companies in their own image. The "special sauce" that Cramer mentions is identifiable in the characteristics that make up these successful and iconic leaders. We see them because they are at the top of the major players, but the characteristics that make up these successful leaders can be found in businesses small and large.
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