Only one of these "Turnaround CEOs," RIM's Thorstein Heins, was promoted from within. Meg Whitman was a board member of HP before becoming chief executive. The others were external hires with proven track records and prestige corporate pedigrees. Except for AIG's Benmosche, we will have to wait and see how all their plans and efforts play out in the new year.
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Susan Battley, PsyD, PhD, is the founder and CEO of Battley Performance Consulting, a strategic leadership advisory firm that works with world-class CEOs and boards. A psychologist and management consultant, her expert commentary on CEO effectiveness and trends has been featured on TV and her articles have appeared in leading publications, including Oxford University Press and Leader to Leader.