It’s more difficult than ever to run a blue-chip company—considering spotty economic growth worldwide, increasing geopolitical tensions, rising commodity prices, dissolving consumer loyalties and the ceaseless and often microscopic attention brought by the unblinking digital eye. As a result of these external forces and some internal missteps, some of the biggest corporations in America are facing the most challenging periods in their history. Their CEOs are encountering rough patches that even their immediate predecessors couldn’t have predicted.
That’s why Chief Executive is helping them out. We selected 10 of these giants of American commerce—Campbell Soup, General Motors, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, McDonald’s, Procter & Gamble, Radio Shack, Target, Walmart and Whole Foods Markets—and sought advice from experienced business leaders on how to fix them. Our experts ranged from chiefs of billion-dollar companies and owners of significant small and medium-sized enterprises to respected academics to sought-after consultants.
Of course, it’s always easier to prescribe strategy from the outside than to actually be in the hot seat; but sometimes, the best advice can come from the less-stressful sidelines. Here’s what our experts had to say.