Leadership

Carly Fiorina was ousted from her role as CEO of Hewlett-Packard after the merger with Compaq, but that doesn't mean that women can't hold their own in the male-dominated corporate world. In fact, firms with female leaders may well be better off than firms without, according to recent research by W. P. Carey professor of management Amy Hillman. However, management professor Peggy Lee's research shows that company shareholders react more negatively to female CEO appointments than to male CEO appointments.

Judi Hand, president and general manager of Direct Alliance, a business process outsourcer, visited the W. P. Carey School of Business recently to speak to an audience of students attending the Executive Luncheon Series. Her message — that success depends on your ability to keep learning and keep questioning — is as true for mid-career practitioners as it is for students.

Reaction to Rupert Murdoch's $5.6 billion takeover of the Dow Jones Co. and The Wall Street Journal is a reminder of how highly businesspeople value the venerable news organization. Some fear that Murdoch will bring tabloid style or political advocacy to the bible of business, but experts at the W. P. Carey School of Business predict that these fears are likely to go unrealized.

The essence of leadership is the ability to make the right decision, and to be able to do that leaders need breadth of experience. Take risks, advises Craig Weatherup, retired chairman and CEO of The Pepsi Bottling Group, and open yourself to new experiences in your personal and professional life. And, understand that failure is a great teacher. Weatherup addressed some 650 W. P. Carey MBA, masters degree and doctoral graduates at the Spring 2007 convocation.

The chair reserved for the president and CEO at Herman Miller, a successful and innovative office furniture maker, must have appeared comfortable when Brian Walker took the helm in 2000, but it soon became a hot seat. After the business furniture industry collapsed in 2001, Walker orchestrated the rebuilding of the company. Now leaner than before, Herman Miller has expanded its global footprint and has refocused on green issues without relinquishing its leadership as a design innovator. The W. P. Carey School of Business honored Walker recently as the Dean's Council of 100 Executive of the Year.