CEOs are the Kings of today. They have tremendous power over the people that work for them, and enjoy fame and riches.
And while kings not always had the merit to be named, and their power went so far as to decide on the life or death of their subjects, and to send them to war on a whim, deciding what their futures would be; it was also true that they usually had no “plan B”. History is littered with stories about monarchs who failed to defend their kingdom, or to deliver a better life for their subjects and they paid dearly with their lives. It was mostly a “do or die” proposition.
Most CEOs are smart enough to negotiate golden parachute clauses, so even if they are fired for incompetence, they end up fairly well. It is quite odd that we give so much power to a leader, without asking for enough responsibility, especially in a culture that is supposed to weed out the incapable.
CEOs come in all different sizes and colors, and CEO/Founders certainly deserve a lot of credit for having the vision and motoring through the obstacles.
When the leader is risking way less than its subordinates, the equation may be out of balance.