27 February 2009

Replacing Sol Trujillo. Implications for Sergey Brin, Larry Page, Steve Ballmer, Egon Zehnder and Peter Norvig.

Sol Trujillo has announced his intention to leave Telstra. Contrary to what my smart phone developer friends tell me, he does not appear to have been forced out for losing a development version of Windows Mobile. Executive search company Egon Zehnder have been retained to find his replacement.

Telstra are probably paying Egon Zehnder a lot for this work. After reading about a recent study , I wonder if they need to.

Swiss adults unfamiliar with French politics were shown 57 pairs of photos of opponents from an old French parliamentary election and asked to pick which ones looked most competent. In a separate experiment, Swiss kids ages 5 to 13 played a computer game that enacted Odysseus' trip from Troy to Ithaca. Then, using the same pairs of photos, researchers asked the kids which candidate they'd choose to captain their ship. In both experiments, the adults and children tended to pick the winners of the election.
If kids can pick winners from photos then it should be possible to train a face recognition type of algorithm to do the same thing. (I will explain why in a later post) . If it possible to pick election winners then it should be no more difficult to pick successful CEOs, who share many characteristics with successful politicians.

Running a few photos through an algorithm should be lot easier and cheaper than the Egon Zehnder process.

While it is being used to find the next Telstra CEO, it could answer some other big questions like which of Sergey Brin, Larry Page and Steve Ballmer would make the best CEO.

Maybe this is why Google have hired an artificial intelligence guy like Peter Norvig.


Richard Long said...

This might be the basis of a method for calibrating CEO salaries.

Richard Long said...

More on CEO "metrics".

We wouldn't tolerate this level of accountability for our state school teachers, or students for that matter.

Bring on the CEO face recognition metrics!