Why report to the CEO – Be the CEO

You know there’s an old expression that goes something like this: Something happening once is an event, twice is a coincidence, and three times a trend. With Wednesday’s announcement (11 December) that Mary Barra was appointed CEO of GM, I thought – that’s an event.

Mary Barra comes from a Supply Chain background – EVP of Procurement and Supply Chain. Then I recalled something similar from two years ago – Tim Cook is announced as the CEO of Apple on a Wednesday (August 24th, 2011). Tim Cook is famous for his Supply Chain background at Apple, which he moved into from Supply Chain at Compaq. Now the Wednesday/CEO/Supply Chain thing – coincidence, or trend? The CEO of Walmart – Mike Duke – was announced back in November 2008 on a Friday, so Wednesday is a coincidence. But is background in Supply Chain isn’t. Also not a coincidence is the Supply Chain background of Alan Wilson – CEO of Multi-Billion Dollar Food Producer McCormick. Alan, in fact, spoke at SCC’s annual event in 2012 on Supply Chain at McCormick.

My question is: how many CEO’s of Fortune-100,-500, or -1000 companies are coming into the role from Supply Chain? Apparently quite a few. Once is an event, twice a coincidence, three times a trend.

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Joseph Francis

About Joseph Francis

Joseph Francis is a former Managing Director of PCG with over 20 years of experience in Supply Chain and IT Management. He served as Executive Director of Supply Chain Council and is co-designer of OpenReference's emerging global standard in supply chain strategic business management, and recognized worldwide as an expert in supply chain operations management.