Why Don't Business Leaders Assassinate Competitors?

Billions of dollars are at stake in the global market, and cutthroat competition often crosses the line into illegality. Corporate espionage is commonplace.

But why stop at stealing your competitor’s ideas? It’s relatively easy to hire an assassin, and research shows that the death of a CEO can cause marked decline in profits. So, the Overcoming Bias blog asks a good question: Why don’t more business leaders have each other assassinated?

Is it for the same reason that international custom expressly prohibits political assassinations?


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  1. Robert says:

    While CEOs may or may not be responcible for their company’s success, there is no evidence that I know of that one company’s success is really the cause of another company’s problems. The cause is usually the product or the marketing or the customers. Killing a competing CEO entails at least some risk of criminal sanction but offers no real likelyhood of improved performance. A new CEO would take over, but his company’s product or marketing or the customers’ preference would remain. So, it is more sensible to attack the product, improve your marketing or try something new on the customers. (Companies have killed their customers from time to time, but they inveitably tell the jury it was an accident. Thinking asbestos and tobacco here.)

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  2. dhruv says:

    Most CEO’s are in public companies and were hired by the board. Why would s/he risk everything for a company that really isn’t his/hers?

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  3. BH says:

    I’ve finished college in Russia in late 90’s. During one of the economics classes lecturer seriously made a statement that nowadays it is unspoken law of not to give lend money or invest into other party’s business. Because when it is time to pay back it is easier and cheaper and to hire an assasin and get creditor killed then actually pay the debt.

    In my opinion in this country infrastructure of law enforcement evolved to an extent when such behavior is extremely risky. Some information will be unveiled because there is always powerful enough group for whom releasing the infromation is advantageous.

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  4. Nikhil Dhingra says:

    It could be possibly due to the fact that in this era of cut throat competition your businesses competitor’s idea combined with your own can possibly result in an awesome business plan and can ultimately become a dark horse in this business race .

    It’s the activity of your closest competitor that can motivate you to go that extra mile and become more hard working than you are at present.

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  5. Cristin says:

    Perhaps they are worried about what it will do to their life insurance premiums.

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  6. John and Mary says:

    I do not agree with the post 70

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  7. Ask later says:

    The death of a c.e.o. wouldn’t make headlines unless the family “cried out” to the media.Especially in corporate America where ceo’s are paid to do the work for the owner… frankly the only ones that would be making or taking hits would be owners or ceo’s that have major company sway who most likly aren’t even in the united states..

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  8. Maths-is-not-opinion says:

    Costs higher than benefits. When it worths it, they do kill people.

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