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New Ideas from Dead CEOs can be Applied by Modern Companies

What can today's business leaders learn from the CEOs of the past? How can Ray Kroc's plans for McDonald's be applied to a new franchise? Why did Estee Lauder succeed at selling high-end cosmetics?

New Ideas from Dead CEOs can be Applied by Modern Companies

Audio posted this afternoon.


Tom Fudge: We all expect the boss to make a little more money than the rest of us, but 200 times as much? That's the question that comes up when discussions focus on the salaries of American CEOs. This country's top CEOs make tens of millions of dollars a year; It may be straight salary, gifts of stock, bonuses or stock options. It gets complicated, but it's a lot of money. Leave it at that.

Now that the economy appears to be in the tank, you'd hope that CEOs would suffer as well. Some of them have been sent packing, but some have done it with the help of a platinum parachute. A couple of years ago, Bob Nardelli, the CEO of Home Depot, was shown the door, but he was also shown $200 million in severance. Not a bad way to get fired.

Who are these CEOs? Why are they paid so much, and who are the CEOs who have really done credit to American capitalism? Joining me to talk about CEOs and the economy in general, is Todd Buchholz. Todd is a San Diegan who has an interesting background in economics. Todd was director of economic policy for President George H.W. Bush. Since then, he's become a commentator on economics, and he's the author of several books.  One of his most recent books is called New ideas from Dead CEOs: Lasting Lessons from the Corner Office.