So, Tony Hayward is being replaced as CEO of BP by an American. It’s not surprising to see that the company is doing whatever they can to minimize damage and public outcry. I’ve come to find it interesting that when a company gets itself in to serious trouble, that the “CEO Swap” is viewed as an acceptable part of the solution It has become an expected worst-scenario step whenever a corporate scandal breaks out.
The acceptable solution
The “CEO Swap” has become increasingly popular over the last few decades. In a way I’ve began to think that this public relations tactic is on its way out now that the availability and consistency of information insures that real change is necessary to quell public opinion. I even admire companies that opt to keep their CEO’s in-office to prove that they don’t need to use this type of PR distraction to make changes.
What if I could do that when I did something wrong… could I just quit something every time I mess up and expect to keep my brand marketable and respectable? No. Could my company replace employees every time they messed up and still expect good work from their employees and trust from their customers? No. When you make a mistake you fix it – sometimes you can end up in a better place because of it. This concept has some major applications to the longevity and value of your brand. You want to be seen as someone who can make things happen, fix problems, and take on tough challenges.
David Trahan is a Strategist at leading social marketing agency Mr Youth in New York, which was named one of the Top 10 Most Innovative Marketing Companies in the World by Fast Company Magazine. He currently serves on the board of the AD Club of New York Young Professionals and is an Alumni Mentor at Pace University. Connect with him on LinkedIn and Twitter or read his blog posts at GrownUpThinking.