Public Company Accountability

I recently caught up with someone who works for a publicly traded tech company. I asked him what the most material change he’s observed coming from leadership is. I expected something like closer scrutiny of expenses, but he said something else. He said there is the highest level of accountability across the board.

Leadership is communicating that goals must be achieved every quarter. There’s no more “We got close, but we’ll hit it next quarter,” because the reaction to missed goals by public market investors could be dire. He shared that when the numbers aren’t on track to achieve goals, leaders are double-clicking into the details looking for answers and holding everyone accountable. He said the result of this heightened accountability is an organization extremely focused on what matters most.

When companies focus, they can accomplish the impossible. I’m curious to see public tech companies’ results over the next quarter or two. I suspect the increased accountability will lead to some unexpected positive outcomes for some public companies. If that happens (and that’s a big if), those positive outcomes could change sentiment toward those companies and increase investor demand for ownership in them.