A visionary CEO or not?

One of the strengths of successful visionary and charismatic CEOs is that they build an executive staff of world-class operating executives (and they unconsciously force out any world-class innovators from their direct reports). The problem is in a company driven by a visionary CEO, there is only one visionary. This type of CEO surrounds himself with extremely competent executors, but not disruptive innovators. While Steve Jobs ran Apple, he drove the vision but put strong operating execs in each domain – hardware, software, product design, supply chain, manufacturing – who translated his vision and impatience into plans, process and procedures.


An article that absolutely worth your time. Helps you understand the difference between a visionary CEO vs an executing CEO. The example given above also makes me think in the case of Alibaba. I’m sure most would agreed that Jack Ma is a visionary CEO. He sees the boom in e-commerce ahead of others plus he was able to get a team of outstanding operating executives to make it into the giant today.

Now that Jack Ma has plan for his departure and Daniel Zhang is the Alibaba CEO. This makes me wonder if Daniel Zhang is visionary CEO or an Process Driven Executing CEO because as the quote above, there is only one visionary CEO.