The cult of the celebrity CEO

There’s an interesting piece about Steve Jobs of Apple in today’s Guardian – it should come as no surprise that there’s a ruthless player of corporate politics behind the calm demeanour and unchanging polo-neck top.  However I disagree with the argument that global supply chains make one individual less powerful.  Most Apple hardware, including my iPod in an attractive shade of (something like) British racing green, carries the slogan designed by Apple in California, assembled in China, as a reminder that Apple’s suppliers may be spread around the world, but they are kept under fairly close control.  Globalisation doesn’t diminish the role of the chief executive or the product designer – it just means that they put in more conference calls and air miles.

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