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We live in a time of information abundance, which far too many of us see as information overload. With the sum total of human knowledge, past and present, at our fingertips, we’re faced with a crisis of attention: which ideas should we engage with, and why? Big Think is an evolving roadmap to the best thinking on the planet — the ideas that can help you think flexibly and act decisively in a multivariate world.

A word about Big Ideas and Themes — The architecture of Big Think

Big ideas are lenses for envisioning the future. Every article and video on bigthink.com and on our learning platforms is based on an emerging “big idea” that is significant, widely relevant, and actionable. We’re sifting the noise for the questions and insights that have the power to change all of our lives, for decades to come. For example, reverse-engineering is a big idea in that the concept is increasingly useful across multiple disciplines, from education to nanotechnology.

Themes are the seven broad umbrellas under which we organize the hundreds of big ideas that populate Big Think. They include New World Order, Earth and Beyond, 21st Century Living, Going Mental, Extreme Biology, Power and Influence, and Inventing the Future.

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Tech CEOs

May 20, 2011, 6:57 AM
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What's the Latest Development?

Is it time for activist boards to take a hand at Microsoft, Yahoo and Cisco? Holman W. Jenkins, Jr critiques the performance of key tech CEOs. In the early 90s, the economy was emerging from recession and GM's late Bob Stempel was the first of a series of big-name CEOs overthrown by activist boards at companies that seemed unable to get in gear. "These revolts weren't seen as disconnected episodes at the time. They were hailed as evidence that boards of directors had finally begun to do their job, taking charge of companies whose drift was beginning to verge on catastrophe."

What's the Big Idea?

"And now for the historical parallel: In place of Stempel of GM, Akers of IBM, and Robinson of American Express, should we today be thinking of Ballmer of Microsoft, Bartz and Yang of Yahoo, and Chambers of Cisco?," asks Jenkins. "In this column on business idiots, we have not encountered a single idiot. We have encountered companies that have come, or may have come, to that point where an outsider is required to do what an insider realistically can't be expected to do." He says that's namely to take a meat axe to departments and colleagues with whom they have shared a life.
 

Tech CEOs

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