Peter Cuneo, the former CEO for Marvel Entertainment and seven other companies, spoke with me about eight secrets that any CEO facing a corporate turnaround should know.
The first is leadership. Cuneo described how the CEO in a turnaround situation must have a vision and must communicate that vision constantly, and ensure that employees understand their role in fulfilling that vision. Inevitably every turnaround brings with it an atmosphere of uncertainty and the CEO’s #1 role is to clearly state his vision, set an objective, and keep everyone in the company focused.
Getting the right people who can buy into the vision and work in an uncertain environment is also critical: “The media always makes out that the CEO is absolutely omnipotent – that they are totally responsible for what’s good in a company, and they deserve total blame for everything that goes wrong. Of course, reality is completely different. The truth is CEOs always need great people to support them if they are going to succeed.”
The second secret to successful turnarounds is execution. According to CEO Cuneo“Strategy is actually very easy – it’s not hard to figure out what has to be done. And it isn’t just cutting costs. In fact, that’s probably the biggest fallacy about turning around a business. The real key is performing every day on the little things – getting your product out the door to your customers to satisfy them – that’s what really matters.”
Watch Peter Cuneo’s video interview to find out the other secrets to successful turnarounds.