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Thursday February 28, 4:14 pm Eastern Time
It's no fun being CEO in the post-Enron world
By Martha Slud
BOCA RATON, Fla., Feb 28 (Reuters) - Being a corporate titan isn't all it's cracked up to be.
Chief executive officers enjoy the lifestyle of the rich and famous -- lucrative pay, private jets
and other perks -- but their jobs aren't much fun these days.
The chieftains are under the gun, as the collapse of Enron Corp. and
other accounting scandals have tarnished Corporate America's image.
They face sagging profits, layoffs and now, scrutiny over bookkeeping
and calls from Washington to hold them more responsible for their
``We've got to deal with the lack of confidence in the corporate world
that has resulted from the actions of Enron,'' said Sidney Taurel, the
chief executive of drug maker Eli Lilly and Co (NYSE:LLY - news).
These may be ``things that have nothing to do with your business, but
you as a CEO who represent the company have to deal with'' them.
On top of that, life at the top can be fleeting. Turnover is high and many
are out the door before they know it. Chief executives say the pressures
are all part of the job, but they are finding themselves under the
microscope more than ever.
``I don't find it tougher but there are more challenges -- obviously greater scrutiny,'' Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ - news) CEO
Ralph Larsen, who is retiring this summer after 13 years at the helm, said in an interview at the Business Council forum of CEOs
in Boca Raton, Florida. ``But that's what we get paid for. I think the tone at the top is just incredibly important.''
More than 100 chief executives, including the heads of Citigroup