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Should CEOs also serve as Chief Innovators?

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According to this article in Business Week Honda CEO Ito Takanobu has taken on not only the president and CEO role at Honda, but also Honda's director of research and development in an effort to align the direction of business and technology as early as possible.

Honda is not the only company that includes its top executives in the design and engineering process. Apple CEO Steve Jobs is heavily involved in the design of the company's products and Research in Motion's co-CEO Mike Lazaridis is a top engineer for the company. Both of these companies have announced high profit margins for the past quarter. A Honda veteran mention, "In an economic downturn, the available resources and our development capacity [have decreased]. We need to make a good selection. [Doing both jobs] is a very good and rational solution."

Do you agree with this process?

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