9/6/2011 1:56 PM ET|
CEOs who inherited their jobs
Nepotism is alive and well in some of the world's largest companies, even those publicly traded. Meet the chiefs who are members of the lucky gene club.
Widely touted as the next chief executive at News Corp. (NWSA, news), James has been buffeted as much as his father by the ongoing phone-hacking and police-bribery scandal that has forced the Murdochs to shut down a profitable newspaper, table a key multibillion-dollar acquisition and agree to be grilled by Britain's Parliament.
If James weathers the storm, he will have earned the top job.
CEOs have to prove diligence and show results regardless of surname.It's not unusual for a family-owned business to be passed along to a family member, although at larger companies, such handoffs can become more difficult. Shareholders and other stakeholders, such as employees, are more likely to question whether nepotism should help define the future of a company.
In many cases, a favorite son or daughter expands the company. In others, he or she may drive it into the ground.
Here are snapshots of 10 chief executives who, by virtue of their last names, were born on third base.
Founded: 1972 by Ted Arison, Micky's father
Micky Arison, 62, was on the very first Carnival cruise when it ran aground on a sandbar near the Port of Miami. Founded by his father, Ted Arison, Carnival (CCL, news) has grown into a behemoth, boasting 85,200 employees, 22 cruise ships and 3.9 million passengers in 2010, according to company data.
The family riches weren't made just at sea: Ted Arison's sister, Shari, is Israel's richest woman, thanks to the financial and construction empire built by her father in his native country.
Founded: 1973 by Charles Dolan, James' father
The board of Cablevision Systems (CVC, news) is stacked with family members, including James Dolan's brothers, Thomas and Patrick, and his wife, Kristin. The feuds that often grip the family businesses -- which include sports franchises and Madison Square Garden -- went public in 2005, when James blocked his father's satellite project and his father essentially tried a hostile takeover of the company he founded.
Founded: 1917 by B.C. Forbes, Steve's grandfather
Started as the magazine "Devoted to Doers and Doings" on Wall Street, Forbes has been run by three generations of the Forbes family. The most recent Forbes, Malcolm Stevenson "Steve" Forbes Jr., 64, ran for U.S. president as a Republican candidate in 1996 and 2000, failing to get the party's nomination both times.
He inherited his job after the death of his father, legendary publisher and showman Malcolm, in 1990. Steve is the editor-in-chief of the magazine and the chief executive of the publishing company.
Edward C. Johnson III
Company: Fidelity Investments
Founded: 1946 by Edward C. Johnson II, Ned's father
A financial powerhouse with more than $1.5 trillion of assets under management, Fidelity is likely nearing the third generation of Johnson control.
Ned Johnson, 80, remains the company's chairman and chief executive, but his daughter, Abigail Johnson, 49, is one of the top presidents and is considered a likely successor.
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Ethan, your comment makes sense to me. I'd like to give another perspective though. In all my years in business, I've never seen such an environment where the CEO's are so disconnected and protected. It's a figure-head position which doesn't even carry any weight in the decision making process for anything. As a consultant, my job is to network into a company to find out who really makes decisions(pertaining to my field). Could be the CFO, COO, etc, but who knows these days. CEO's are typically not even interested in new ideas or even directing their board members or executives anymore. Many of them that I've actually met with, are so seriously disinterested and can't even answer basic questions about their own company. Executive Assistants have more power these days and the scariest part of that is, they don't have a stake in making improvements for the company, the economy, or the employees. CEO's who are 'given' their jobs, start out with the "success syndrome". They never had to work hard and reap the rewards so failures are truly ignored. Sad, sad times......
Our public owned corporations should be forced by law to pay our minimum wages wherever they go. This would bring back jobs and show a little respect for workers. When the CEO of Disney made 600 million in salary and God knows what in bonuses, he had children working in Haiti for 12 cents an hour. Coldblooded greed is destroying our country. The tops of our corrupt corporate and financial systems are, for the most part, morally and spiritually dead or dying.
Our 4 biggest banks have trillions in assets and have been getting billions in 0% loans to play the market. So, the pigs turn around and drive up the price of oil and gas by manipulating the commodities market. Everyone knows what's going on and nothing is done to stop the rape of our people.
We better stop acting like pawns and peasants and demand real change.
The tax cut that President Bush put in place, allows for these CEO's to hoard money at the top levels of companies. That isn't surprising, but what is surprising is that we, the American people, sit back and permit it. Support it by putting in office those that we know care nothing about the people. Their interest is only in the rich staying rich, and lining their pockets...
Another fact that comes to mind is, how many came to inherit America and why. Most were kicked out of their countries, due to crimes and debt they owed to their government. Coming to America offered a new beginning. So, many that came over were thieves and crooks. Working hard and earning their fair share, has never been part of their plan. Basically they proved to be incapable of that. So, what do we really expect from them. A skunk is a skunk no matter what, and sooner or later you will smell it.....
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