Corporate chiefs are fearful of missing out on the Next Big Thing, of leaving it to bold, visionary rivals to anticipate a future that they themselves were too short-sighted, or too timid, to grasp.

But to be reckless, vainglorious, is of course another road to ruin. A boss’s character might perhaps be assessed by response to the question “Bust or glory?” but offers little practical guide to suitability for the job in a world where the future is a mystery and the past cannot be recovered. Which is to say, truly good governance is not a one-boss show.

Leonardo has just abandoned long-running talk of developing a 100-seater to extend the product range at ATR, its 50:50 regional turboprop joint venture with Airbus. Nobody at Leonardo was ever in a hurry to commit probably hundreds of millions of euros to a risky venture. But given market growth, it is also understandable that the idea lived on, despite firm reluctance at Airbus.

Enter a new boss. The decision to channel investment into the existing ATR range rather than a bigger type might seems to align with the presumably conservative instincts of the banker and consultant that Alessandro Profumo has been. But a better reading of the situation might be that he is a team player.

By that reading, Leonardo is, at core, a well-managed company, and the new man at the helm both understands and respects that.

Source: Flight International