Trappists

Tim Cook - Apple CEO

The gnomic Tim Cook – Apple CEO

Gnomic CEOs are so aware of the sensitivity of their comments, says David Manners, that they now all say much the same sort of thing, with otherwise intelligent people burbling away about chimeras such as IOT and wearables. It’s safer that way.

Execs are the modern Trappists. Almost anything they say can move their company’s share price so they don’t say anything. Not in public anyway.

Even private actions can come and bite you in the bum many years later like the co-founder and CEO of Mozilla who had to resign earlier this month because it was unearthed that, back in 2008, he’d donated $1000 to a campaign supporting California’s then-in-force ban on gay marriage.

Lunacy. But that’s California. Unfortunately these things tend to drift East and end up in the UK.

The commercial justification for the Mozilla CEO’s resignation was that a dating site called OkCupid had urged a boycott of Firefox on the grounds that the CEO was opposed to equal rights for gay couples.

Good Grief. But it’s enough to put execs in a blue funk and being scared makes people boring.

20 years ago or so execs knew that they only had to hint at a breakthrough product in their labs and the stock would rise.

This encouraged execs to be quite flamboyant – or very flamboyant in the case of JS3. CEOs were celebs, appearing everywhere, entertaining lavishly, pre-announcing outrageously.

Nowadays execs can give a generalised impression that stuff is bubbling away but that’s about the sum of it. Look at Tim Cook’s gnomic public comments.

CEOs are so aware of the sensitivity of their comments that they ask their PR departments for advice on what to say. This really is the tail wagging the dog.

The result is that they all say much the same sort of thing with otherwise intelligent people burbling away about IOT and wearables.

You can’t get into trouble by talking about chimeras.

Tags: California, CEOs, gay marriage, gnomic, Mozilla, Tim Cook, Trappists Execs

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