The one thing we have to remember about the bigwigs in a company is this: they are, in fact, human, and they can make mistakes just like the rest of us.
Remember the huge Netflix debacle? First, there was a giant price increase for subscriptions - something like 6 bucks, all at once. That in itself really ticked customers off, but the recent expansion of the streaming library deemed it necessary from a financial standpoint. (They have to pay to license content . . . makes sense, even though it might be annoying for customers.)
But the real blow came when Reed Hastings, the CEO of Netflix, announced a plan to split the service in two: one for streaming video, and one for DVD mailings. Netflix subscribers went nuts, and tons revolted and dropped the service. On Monday, Netflix let the statistics out - they lost a whopping 800,000 subscribers over the planned split, and the stock dropped 25%.
Nick Wingfield and Brian Stelter of the New York Times attribute the loss in customer base to more than just dollars and cents. Their article points out that Netflix and its CEO failed to account for customers' emotions. Many were attached to the idea of getting the DVD physically in the mail, while still enjoying the benefits of the streaming content.
Mr. Hastings apologized for the proposed splitting of the service, but not for the price increase. Netflix has since reneged on the idea, continuing to offer the one-package deal - streaming content AND DVDs, just like the old days.
To me, this just goes to show that even people with lots of money and power can make a misstep every once in a while. In Mr. Hastings' case, he wasn't trying to hurt anyone or drag down his company. He simply misjudged his customer base, and most importantly, he was quick to acknowledge his mistake and remedy the situation as best he could. After all, CEOs are people too!
Is there a Hug-a-CEO day? There should be! [Mr. Michael Poulos, get on that!] :)