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NEWS ANALYSIS: Is a high profile CEO high risk?

Is a CEO who is synonymous with a brand always a good thing?

The CEO, or figure head of a company, has a vital role in projecting the brand and its values both internally and externally. But is this something that should be done publicly or should they be the perfect wallflower and fade into the background?

Unfortunately the latter has not been possible in recent months for Tony Hayward, BP's former CEO and Mark Hurd, HP's former CEO, and their rather public failings. Hayward's poor handling of the BP oil spill - he was quoted in the national press as saying, "There's no one who wants this over more than I do. I would love my life back," - has contributed to the big dent in BP's reputation. Equally, reports of a sexual harrassment investigation involving Hurd did some serious damage to the HP brand.