C-Suite Intelligence 16 September 2020

Winmark's C-Suite Intelligence service provides news, content and research to help leaders across all C-Suite functions overcome the significant challenges they are currently facing

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Latest executive moves


BoardEx provides a monthly rundown and analysis of CEO changes across major markets. Highlights for August include:
  • China Mobile. The world’s largest mobile telecoms company appointed Xin Dong to the CEO position in an internal promotion. Xin Dong was previously the company’s CFO.
  • Aston Martin Lagonda. The automotive company has been in a battle to turn its fortunes around, having posted falls in revenue and increasing losses. Andy Palmer, its previous CEO, resigned back in May and Tobias Moers was appointed to the top role on August 1st. Moers is a Daimler / Mercedes company veteran, and it has been speculated that the appointment could mean closer ties between Aston Martin and Daimler. Daimler is a major shareholder of Aston Martin and the two companies have a technical partnership for the provision of engines, electrical architecture and entertainment systems.
  • HanesBrands. The US apparel marketer HanesBrands has appointed Steve Bratspies as its new CEO in an external appointment. Bratspies was formerly a Walmart executive and succeeds Gerald Evans Jr who retires from the board.


Crisis leadership: The Stockdale Paradox

Harvard Business School

Stockdale was a prisoner of war in Vietnam for over seven years. He described his survival mechanism as follows: “I never lost faith in the end of the story. I never doubted not only that I would get out, but also that I would prevail in the end.”

However this is not to be confused with simply being an optimist: “The optimists were the ones who said, ‘We’re going to be out by Christmas.’ And Christmas would come, and Christmas would go. Then they’d say, ‘We’re going to be out by Easter.’ And Easter would come, and Easter would go. And then it would be Christmas again. And they died of a broken heart … This is a very important lesson. You must never confuse faith that you will prevail in the end - which you can never afford to lose - with the discipline to confront the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever they might be."

This formulation became known as the Stockdale Paradox. This article explains how it can be applied to crisis leadership to engender a robust and resilient culture in difficult times.

Insight driven customer engagement


In this podcast a KPMG panel (Amanda Hicks, Partner in Charge, Customer Brand and Marketing Advisory; Torsten Fritz, Director, Customer Advisory; and Urvashi Roe, Global COO, Customer Centre of Excellence) explores the concept of insight driven engagement and how organisations are getting to know their customers at a deep and profound level.

Four ways to improve technology service resiliency

McKinsey & Company

When systems fail, an organisation’s first priority is restoring service. To do so quickly, most technology teams understandably reach for remedies that can do the job best in the moment. However, the tactical fixes that work well in one crisis will not generally work in the next, since issues vary so widely. As a result, many organisations face a continual cycle of triage, fixing one issue only to find another popping up somewhere else.

To stop that cycle, companies need to move away from a reactive emergency-response posture. There are four practices that traditional enterprises can adopt to improve technological resiliency, reduce the risk of incidents, and mitigate their commercial and customer impact.
  1. Go beyond triggers to look for root causes and patterns
  2. Integrate and automate to prevent and detect issues earlier
  3. Develop tools and expert networks to speed incident response
  4. Make sure problem management has structure and teeth

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