Managers who care

How many managers of large companies really care about improving products and service? Some do, but not the majority. Most care about about compensation. Charlie calls them careerists. See minute 32:45 in this interview where Charley talks about GM going bankrupt because managers thought like careerists instead of like owners.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S9HgIGzOENA

Please name some companies where managers truly care. I’d like to read more about them. Thank you.

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Apple for sure.

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Charlie, not Charley. Yikes.

Please name some companies where managers truly care. I’d like to read more about them.

I cannot think of any contemporary ones, but in the past,

George Eastman who started Eastman-Kodak company.
Edwin H. Land, who founded Polaroid Land company.
Laban F. Deardorff who founded L. Deardorff camera company.
Ronald B. J. Wisner who founded Wisner Classic Manfacturing Company.

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“I cannot think of any contemporary ones”

Depressing. I agree with longtimebrk that Tim Cook cares, as did Steve Jobs before him. I think Warren Buffett cares. The list is short, though. Maybe some CEO’s care but we can’t see it. We investors don’t get to see CEOs very much. A lot of products are no better than they were a decade ago, though.

I’d say that Jim Sinegal, longtime CEO of Costco, had a rep for caring. Howard Schultz (Starbucks) and Shantanu Narayen (Adobe) also come to mind. Tim Cook, certainly.

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Tom Gayner, CEO of Markel comes to mind. I was fortunate to dine at his table in Omaha this year at one of their dinners and he hosted a terrific standing room only Sunday brunch at the Marriott and answered every question from the audience. He asked us all to come to Richmond to attend their on site meeting. Like WEB, he is as humble and owner oriented as it gets imo.

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Tim is just an operator. He didn’t create any great product or service. On the hand the most obvious person Jeff Bezos is missing is surprising.

Anyone familiar with Amazon’s leadership principles should know how much Amazon obsess over their customers, products and services.

Given my prior consulting work I did with Starbucks, which truly cares about customer experience, product, and even their employees, I would say Amazon is head and shoulder above Starbucks.

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Love him or hate him, Elon Musk has presided over an incredible run of Tesla’s introducing and constantly improving some amazing products and he’s been closely involved all along the way from what I can tell.

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Love him or hate him, Elon Musk has presided over an incredible run of Tesla’s introducing and constantly
improving some amazing products and he’s been closely involved all along the way from what I can tell.

The business has done wonderful things.
But there is a very good case to be made that Mr Musk decidedly does not have the best interests of other shareholders uppermost in his mind when doing a lot of the things he does.
I don’t think he could make the list suggested by the OP.

Jim

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“Love him or hate him, Elon Musk has presided over an incredible run of Tesla’s introducing and constantly improving some amazing products and he’s been closely involved all along the way from what I can tell.”

The business has done wonderful things. But there is a very good case to be made that Mr Musk decidedly does not have the best interests of other shareholders uppermost in his mind when doing a lot of the things he does. I don’t think he could make the list suggested by the OP.

The OP asked: “How many managers of large companies really care about improving products and service?” No mention of interests of other shareholders. From what I’ve seen Musk is a manager who really cares about improving products and service, passionately.

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Oh you are nitpicking. We rephrase the question to suite our biases and narratives.

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No mention of interests of other shareholders. From what I’ve seen Musk is a manager who really cares about improving products and service, passionately.

That’s fair, as phrased.
Including caring about the product more than the client, though.

Jim

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The business has done wonderful things.
But there is a very good case to be made that Mr Musk decidedly does not have the best interests of other shareholders uppermost in his mind when doing a lot of the things he does.
I don’t think he could make the list suggested by the OP.

In the last 11 years, both car sales and share price are up about a factor of 100, give or take.

What do you imagine he might have done better if he did care about other shareholders, or otherwise had managed to “make the list” of CEOs who care about making the list?

R:?

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What do you imagine he might have done better if he did care about other shareholders,
or otherwise had managed to “make the list” of CEOs who care about making the list?

Skip doing all the frequent illegal things that are to their detriment, mainly.
The rest would be quibbles.
What would you call someone who relied on the veracity of one of his public statements with material financial implications?

Jim

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Mungofitch:
Skip doing all the frequent illegal things that are to their detriment, mainly.

Things like buying Twitter stock and reporting late on the amount? Bryan Caplan suggests those regulations are in place because of regulatory capture by incumbent boards. (See link below). I personally do not find Musks “illegal” behavior immoral nor is it harmful to me. Am I obviously wrong about this?

https://twitter.com/kirkegaardemil/status/155530120386048819…