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Editor’s Note

When the Law Is Not on Your Side


Two external forces are driving CEOs to distraction. One is the fact that the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) was built on shifting sands, and the other is the regulatory overreach of federal agencies such as the SEC, EPA, NLRB and others whose further intrusions into the marketplace are making business leaders cautious and lawyers rich. Combined, these unholy forces add to the uncertainty plaguing the U.S. economy.

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Is U.S. Manufacturing on the Mend?


Fifty years ago, during the high-water mark of American economic dominance, 29% of the workers in the U.S. were in manufacturing. Today that figure is closer to 11%. Historically, “invented in the USA” meant made in the USA. Today, that no longer holds true. Apple can design and distribute iPods, iPhones and iPads in the U.S. without having any significant production facilities here at all.

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Buzzwords: “We Need to Retire”

Do your eyes glaze over whenever you hear certain words and phrases that have long passed their sell-by date? queried CEOs and its general readers for buzzwords they would like to ban. We invite Briefing readers to volunteer their own.

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2013 Inc. 500 Recognizes Chief Executive Group as One of America’s Fastest Growing Companies

937% Three-Year Sales Growth Earns Company Position #9 Among All Media Companies. Chief Executive Group was recognized today as one of America’s fastest growing companies. Inc. Magazine listed the company as a member of the 2013 Inc. 500 with three-year sales growth of 937%. The 2013 Inc. 500 is the most competitive crop in the list’s 32-year history, according to the magazine.

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Closing the Skills Gap

Beyond the mounting anecdotal evidence, how serious is the skilled-labor gap?

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No Adam Smith


In “Bull’s-eye!” our lead story this issue, many leaders say that they have come to feel that the administration has painted a target on their backs. Even among those in the business community who were initial supporters of Barack Obama, some now worry that his policies won’t grow the economy, but instead expand the scope and power of the state. ...

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How full is the Glass?


Business leaders are by nature folks who see the glass as half full. Optimism is in their DNA. They set out to accomplish things and one can’t do that if doubts trump action. Hamlet would not have made a good CEO. So when we asked a cross-section of CEOs to give us their outlook for the coming year (See Agenda2010) ...

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Having an Out-of-Money Experience

The fact that, at this writing late in the third quarter, stocks have risen sharply—by some estimates up 50 percent from their March 2009 lows—does not obscure the fact that we’ve witnessed an extraordinary level of wealth destruction. Reuters’ Joe Rauch reports that the recession—now in its 22nd month—triggered the first worldwide contraction in assets under management in nearly a ...

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Looking for the “New Normal”


Of the $787 billion marked for stimulus spending, the $1 billion “Cash for Clunkers” program is the only success the administration can point to for lifting consumer spending. The program, which is dramatically more efficient than other schemes, nearly ran out of funds, but it had the salutary effect of coming at the right time—just as auto dealers’ inventories were ...

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Why Succession is a Continuity Issue


Why is CEO continuity so difficult? According to Challenger, Gray’s league table of CEO departures of the past 12 months the recession has not been kind to CEOs, even though the pace has slowed down since last year. In addition to performance pressure, most leaders must confront impatient investors and boards that are less reluctant to pull the trigger. In ...

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