CEOs: The More You Pay Them, The Worse They Perform

MONDAY, 30 JUNE 2014

CEOs: The More You Pay Them, The Worse They Perform


The Peter Principle

“Every new member in a hierarchical organization climbs the hierarchy until he/she reaches his/her level of maximum incompetence”

The Peter Principle states that everyone gets promoted to a level at which they’re incompetent. More generally Lawrence Peter observed that anything that works gets used to do other things until it fails. This is true even of ideas, and sometimes even failure doesn’t stop them being promulgated. Consider, for instance, economics as the primary example of an idea stretched beyond its elastic limit.

But at the top of the corporate tree are those executives who’ve somehow avoided becoming victims of the Peter Principle. Of course, simply becoming a CEO doesn’t disprove the idea, it just makes it more likely that we’ll have lots of incompetent business leaders who’ve become really good at blaming other people. And a survey of CEOs suggests that this is exactly true: they’re overrated, they’re overpaid and they don’t deliver for anyone apart from themselves. Why am I not surprised?


About bambooinnovator
Kee Koon Boon (“KB”) is the co-founder and director of HERO Investment Management which provides specialized fund management and investment advisory services to the ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Fund (, the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry. KB is an internationally featured investor rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as a fund manager and analyst in the Asian capital markets who started his career at a boutique hedge fund in Singapore where he was with the firm since 2002 and was also part of the core investment committee in significantly outperforming the index in the 10-year-plus-old flagship Asian fund. He was also the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. Prior to setting up the H.E.R.O. Innovators Fund, KB was the Chief Investment Officer & CEO of a Singapore Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC) where he is responsible for listed Asian equity investments. KB had taught accounting at the Singapore Management University (SMU) as a faculty member and also pioneered the 15-week course on Accounting Fraud in Asia as an official module at SMU. KB remains grateful and honored to be invited by Singapore’s financial regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to present to their top management team about implementing a world’s first fact-based forward-looking fraud detection framework to bring about benefits for the capital markets in Singapore and for the public and investment community. KB also served the community in sharing his insights in writing articles about value investing and corporate governance in the media that include Business Times, Straits Times, Jakarta Post, Manual of Ideas, Investopedia, TedXWallStreet. He had also presented in top investment, banking and finance conferences in America, Italy, Sydney, Cape Town, HK, China. He has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy & business model innovation in Singapore, HK and China.

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