CEO, CEO, Wherefore art Thou CEO?

It is good to see that Football West has finally advertised the six-months- vacant position of Chief Executive Officer.
One has to wonder whether someone in the organisation was having a swipe at the previous incumbent when they wrote this on their website: “The position of Chief Executive Officer is a new position created to ensure a strong leadership for Football West, the integration of the Board’s varied responsibilities and activities, and the continuing development of strong ties with FFA.”
Joking aside reading the job description one has to ask is Football going to get the right person for the job? Also have any lessons been learned following the reign of Mr. Garry Chandler?
If you read the job description it appears that once again the role is simply one that plays patsy to the whims and decisions of the Board, rather than those that are necessarily the best for the game.
Which brings into question the decision to make this a Chief Executive role. Surely any Chief Executive, or budding CEO wants to have a control over their own destiny, so that they can be judged on the structures that they put in place and the pathways they take?
The board’s role in most corporate organisations is to ensure that due diligence is followed. That the ‘company’ is run correctly by law and that the shareholders – in this case stakeholders – best interests are being considered. At Football West the board members have historically interfered far too much in the day to day running of the organisation, and have at times hampered the game’s progress.
The board are ultimately legally and financially responsible. They are there to ensure that the organisation is operated according to corporate law and constitutionally. One has to wonder if some of the members would be so keen to accept their postions on the board knowing, if Football West were legally challenged they are the ones held accountable.
For this organisation to move forward the new CEO needs to be given carte blanche to make the necessary changes that take the game forward, whether they are popular or not, and that person needs to know that they have the full backing of the board. They should be left to run the organisation as they see fit, based on the wishes of the stakeholders for a set period of time, for example six months or a year, and then be assessed by the board following that period.
Football West may be a not for profit organisation, but it is also a business, and need s to be run along business lines. In business the CEO is left to get on with running the business and judged accordingly. It is not a popularity contest; it is about getting results and the best outcomes for all concerned. For too long we have lacked leadership, if we miss this opportunity to appoint a visionary with an honest passion for the game, the game will be held back once again. It is time to make sure we get it right.
If the board wish to have a say in the day to day running of the organisation then, surely we should be sourcing a General Manager as opposed to a CEO and have the Chairman become a salaried Executive Chairman? In other words he has the power to make decisions on behalf of the board which the General Manager then implements. The board are then held solely accountable for their decisions.
Judging by the job description the current structure leaves the successful applicant taking both brickbats and plaudits over things that they will in fact have very little control over. Which makes one wonder the calibre of those who will in fact apply and accept such a position.
It is time that Football made a bold move and let someone take control of the game, ignoring the petty politics and simply doing what is best for the game, and structuring the organisation to best suit the games needs.  It is also time for the stakeholders to trust such a man or woman.

CEO, CEO, Wherefore art Thou CEO?
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One thought on “CEO, CEO, Wherefore art Thou CEO?

  • December 2, 2009 at 4:31 pm

    Bet they already have a person lined up.

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