October 16 2007 by Francis Adams
General Motors vice chairman Bob Lutz took the fast lane in
The most popular CEO blogger, Sun Microsystem’s Jonathan Schwartz talks about his experience after meeting with technologist from the telecommunications, media and the entertainment industry. Titled “Going Bollywood“, Schwartz set the cat among the pigeons among his readers. One post said “If there is a pun in this, I fail to see it.” However, ardent technology-oriented readers stuck to the more important parts of the blogs: Sun’s ZFS file system and why it matters more to the media and the entertainment industries. Schwart also answered questions from Debbie Weil that includes: “Why don’t more CEOs blog? Lack of time? Fear? Inability to write well?”
The answer to the question still remains an enigma for many, even considering Schwartz’s quirky reply to it: “The best advice I have for anyone that’s considering blogging: blog only if you feel compelled to communicate in writing [the italics are mine], through the good times and bad, and to always be authentic.”
There isn’t any Fortune CEO blogger besides Schwartz and Marriott although there are quite a few corporations in the blogosphere. Take the case of Dell. It launched “Direct2Dell” with an objective of “one-2-one communication with Dell” but its CEO Michael Dell doesn’t blog despite its doctrine of “the best way to understand and serve our customers is to talk to them directly – or one2one – around the world.”
Critics who assert that CEOs should not blog back their claim saying that this expectation and demand for open communication may require a CEO to discuss insights about the company he is leading, such as, company strategy, lawsuits, regulations, product development and movement of the company’s share price. They say such written communication could be pounced on by employees, regulators, lawyers, competitors, and investors, creating a sticky situation for the CEO blogger.
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