Executives don’t cry – but maybe they should (Guest Commentary)

Displays of wholesome emotions foster respect
By Edmond Mellina
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 01/31/2006

It’s rather unusual to see a renowned CEO overcome with emotion and shedding tears at a press conference. Yet, it happened twice within a week last October.

First it was Bill Owens, retiring CEO of Nortel Networks Corp. As he was announcing his passing of the baton, the senior executive almost broke down, his eyes welling with tears and his voice choked with emotion. Owens is a former admiral who held the second most powerful job in the U.S. Armed Forces. Wow, tough boys do cry.

One week later, it was EnCana Corp.’s Gwyn Morgan. The celebrity CEO held a surprise press conference in Calgary to announce his resignation from the oil and gas giant. Like Owens, Morgan had a hard time hiding his emotions in front of the packed room. He had to stop for several minutes to collect his thoughts while shedding tears. Wow, even star CEOs cry.