Dale Buss

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Dale Buss is a long-time contributor to Chief Executive, Forbes, The Wall Street Journal and other business publications. He lives in Michigan.

‘We Told You So’: Owners, CEOs Slash Plans

America’s business owners and chief executives have begun to speak after the elections with their actions and their mouths. And they’re delivering a vote of no confidence in a U.S. economy that still carries too many uncertainties for them.

Where’s Your Wealth?

All too often, CEOs are far too busy managing their businesses to manage their money. Here’s a look at some of the common pitfalls and how to address them.

Will Wisconsin Rise Again?

The Badger State keeps rising in the Chief Executive Best States/Worst States list, and that’s got Wisconsin businesses cheering—as well as investing.

CEOs and Social Media

Social media involvement is deepening quickly at most companies. Ford already is spending about 25 percent of its mammoth marketing budget to leverage its early auto-industry leadership in social media. And the overall trend is clear: Social media investments are gaining an average of 5 percent this year while companies are typically cutting at least 5 percent from print, television and outdoor advertising budgets.

Is Your Company Vulnerable to Cyber-Sabotage?

As more business transactions are transferred to the web, chief executives are faced with the decision of whether or not to stay with traditional models or to move with the marketplace. Though security threats are a main concern, and CEOs should learn how to combat cyber sabotage, some new technologies are far safer than you think.

Examining the ROI of R&D

Today's tough economy demands more intense scrutiny of investments in innovation. Innovation is no longer sufficient in itself, but rather there is a new desire for metrics with which to measure success. But can you really measure ROI based on corporate investment?

The State of the States

Past surveys have distinguished a group of emerging leaders in corporate site selection. These days, the winners are Utah, Arizona, Texas, and Tennessee, but the competition is fierce. The battle for the business of businesses is intensifying. What can states do to make it into the top tier?

Anatomy of an Asymmetrical Acquisition

Why bigger companies are targeting smaller company acquisitions—and how they make them work.

CEO Interview: Chris Lofgren of Shneider National

Let Down by the Feds

Chris Lofgren
President and CEO, Schneider National

We're concerned about the impact of increasing government activism in the transportation industry and the private sector in general. I would include in that the impact of health-care reform. We're a big employer and self-insured [for health care], and we want to do the right thing for our associates.

We've been able to help our associates become good consumers of health care. That's the answer. The second you push everyone into a system, as a company we'll spend more—and our associates will receive less.

I'm also concerned about how the government is treating infrastructure. Surface transportation is really the power train of the physical economy and is a prerequisite to maintaining a high standard of living—and it's Schneider's lifeblood, of course. [But] last year's [$832 billion federal stimulus] got misdirected. I don't think we solved the real, systemic issue around infrastructure. We need to stop the redirection of highway trust funds to short-term agendas and make sure that these monies are spent specifically on highways—bike paths are not a transportation priority.

Going forward, there is not a lot of big capital investment by our customers, whether it's building new stores or extending manufacturing capacity. They're waiting to understand what kind of government regulation and tax situation we find ourselves in, and whether the consumer comes back. For 2011, I see modest growth in the economy, so our own investment in capital is pretty conservative too.

Schneider National, a $2.9 billion company based in Green Bay, Wis., is the nation's largest privately owned truckloadcarrier.

Green Visigoths

Increasingly, NGOs are wielding their media muscle to exact tithes from Corporate America. Here’s how to fight back
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CEO CONFIDENCE INDEX

CEO Optimism Slips In May On Supply Concerns, Washington Worries

Chief Executive’s latest poll of U.S. CEOs finds that across sectors, sizes and states, unresolved supply chain issues, increasing raw material and labor costs, and looming tax increases are inhibiting CEO enthusiasm.