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resigned, Apple started having problems. Steve Jobs had to come back to get Apple backon its feet. A chief executive such as Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook or Michael O’Leary ofRyanair could also be strategic leaders of their respective companies. Sir Richard Bronson of Virgin group which controls over 400 companies has hispersonality influencing strategy in all Virgin enterprises. His personality is characterisedas daring, and risk-taking. His rationale for starting Virgin Airlines is stated by him as“My interest in life comes from setting myself huge, apparently unachievable challengesand trying to rise above them ... from the perspective of wanting to live life to the full, Ifelt that I had to attempt it.” This attitude is reflected in the strategies he had developedfor all the companies in that group. His daring personality can be seen from his travelaround the globe in hot air balloons, and his record breaking crossing of English Channelin an amphibious vehicle. Branson is also known for his preference of casual clothingSU11-5
BUS489Strategy Developmentboth at home and the workplace. On his dislike of ties, he says "I have been carrying outa lifelong campaign to say bye to the tie. Most people in business dress the same andthat contributes to them acting the same. Wearing a tie really can restrict new ideas andinnovative thoughts – not to mention breath!" Mr. Ratan Tata of Tata Group has succeeded using his reputation as a strategic leader.He was appointed as the CEO of Tata Group in 1991. There were comments of nepotismwhen he was chosen and his efforts were resisted by many senior managers who had along career with Tata Group companies and held powerful positions. As the first measure,Ratan Tata started replacing the senior managers and required that all operational unitsreport to the Group office. He concentrated on building the Tata brand with emphasis oninnovation. Through his strategy, he was able to streamline operations to create synergyamong the operating units. He was responsible for overseas acquisitions such as Tetley teaby Tata tea, Jaguar Land Rover by Tata Motors and Corus Steel by Tata Steel. All this turnedTata Group into a multinational company with a substantial portion of its sales comingfrom more than 100 countries. While Ratan Tata named Cyrus Mistry as his successor,Ratan Tata’s reputation was still associated with Tata Group and Cyrus Mistry resignedwith a comment that he could no longer work as a shadow to Ratan Tata. Deliberate strategies can be dictated by an individual, especially when it is an owner-managed firm in which the individual controls all aspects of the business directly. Theadvantage of such leadership is that adaptation of strategy will be fast. In addition, thestrategy can be sharp, innovative and unorthodox which makes it difficult for competitorsto imitate. Before Michael Dell entered the computer industry, computer manufacturerssuch as IBM, Compaq and Hewlett Packard were using the retailer network to market