Does Your CEO Blog?

Turns out that Intel’s president, Paul Otellini, has a blog. I came across this story last month. I was reminded about corporate blogging when a story broke in the National Post on employees being fired because of comments about their employers on their personal blogs.

Paul is still working for Intel.

Here is an excerpt:

Like many a corporate executive, Intel President Paul Otellini rarely deviates from the company line in public. But read Otellini’s blog and you’ll see what he really thinks… Otellini, who becomes Intel’s next chief executive in May, even praises Advanced Micro Devices, his Sunnyvale rival whose existence company executives take pains to ignore.

“While I hate losing share, the reality is that our competitor has a very strong product offering,” Otellini wrote in a Jan. 10 entry.

As more corporate chieftains get bitten by the blogging bug, blogs are transforming the way executives interact with their employees and the public. Blogging may offer a new way to push a company’s agenda, but it is not without risk. The very nature of blogging encourages — even demands — a certain frankness guaranteed to give public relations executives and lawyers headaches… Among the blogs written in executive suites are those from General Motors Vice Chairman Bob Lutz (fastlane.gmblogs.com), Sun Microsystems President Jonathan Schwartz (blogs.sun.com/jonathan) and Rich Marcello (devresource.hp.com/blogs/marcello), a senior vice president at Hewlett-Packard.

Otellini declined to discuss his blog. But in an interview Lutz acknowledged that GM’s lawyers raised concerns about his blog. Still, he said the company doesn’t “scrub the content.”

“We’d lose all credibility,” Lutz said.

He said he joined the “bloggerati” out of annoyance with media’s portrayal of Detroit car makers as “dinosaurs.”

“It’s a pervasive bias, and I get frustrated by it,” said Lutz, whose blog draws 4,000 visitors a day. “With the blog, I can work around it.”

Rank and file employees seem to get terminated on a whim usually due to criticisms of their employer. Even Google, the owner of Blogger, has fired an employee because of his blogging. His reponse to his firing can be found here.

I guess free speech only counts when you say it. Put it on a blog and you’re fired.

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