For CEOs it isn’t the recession that hurts as much as the recovery, says Andrew Ward, associate professor of management.
In his research, Ward has examined the largest U.S. companies during and after the last major recession and found that more chief executives were fired in the nine months following the recession than during the recession itself. Based on this, Ward calls on CEOs to be aware of—and wary of—the impact of an economic recovery in 2010.
“Good times will be here again, but leaders need to set expectations, both for the speed of the recovery and also for its tone,” he says. “Expectations have to be managed or heads at the top will roll, in both business and politics.”
Ward expands on this thinking in an opinion piece titled “The Peril of Executive Optimism in 2010,” which was recently featured in Forbes magazine.
Ward conducts research on issues related to corporate governance, including CEO successions and compensation, reputation, and leadership. With Dr. Jeffrey Sonnenfeld of Yale University he is coauthor of Firing Back: How Great Leaders Rebound After Career Disasters, which was published by Harvard Business School Press in 2007. Firing Back received national and international media attention with reviews in The New York Times, Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, The Financial Times, Forbes, BusinessWeek and The Economist among other publications.