More of the Same?

10:08 AM -- You have to wonder if Tellabs is really doing the right thing by having an insider become its CEO. Wasn't a big problem of Krish Prabhu's tenure the fact that chairman Micheal J. Birck was still giving the appearance of being the boss?

Birck was apparently more visible to employees than Prabhu. And under Prabhu, the Tellabs senior exec team hardly changed at all and insiders say Birck never really let go of the steering wheel -- that after years of letting many of the top executives from its various acquisitions walk right out the door.

For a company so desperately in need of reinvigoration, it's odd that the Tellabs board would pick a career Tellabs executive that hasn't worked anywhere else in 23 years.

— Phil Harvey, Editor, Light Reading

abashford 12/5/2012 | 3:26:10 PM
re: More of the Same? Some personalities can come in from the outside and make a big positive business in a company, but the key leadership attribute for these is the absence of a strong ego. Unfortunately boards often like to chose very visible 'celebrity-CEOs' to show that they are serious about bringing in someone who will fix things, but ego and 'celebrity' status have a very high correlation.

People promoted from within at least understand the landscape and people to help ensure when they make improvements, they are less likely to have negative unintended consequences.

The negative to internal promotions is a perception that they won't really create positive change to a business that is in OK or good shape. I personally think that people that have spent years of frustration in an under-performing company can be just as -or likely more- motivated to create positive change than a savior CEO who may be more motivated by stock incentives, or to prove that they can be a turn-around CEO.
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