I come from a culture where chair shops are owned by a chair craftsman, bakeries by bakers and barbershops by barbers. In fact all societies, pre-industrialization have for the most part followed this very natural trend.
It has been the trend that companies hire or promote CEOs that have little to nothing to do with what the business is about. (For example: technology companies having business CEOs with no engineering or technology making background).
Although these CEOs don’t make daily decisions and might have VPs that are more knowledge centric and craftsman of their own domain, they still have a very strong direct, if not, indirect influence. After all, CEOs are leaders, no matter how many VPs they have under them, their employees will be directly influenced by their words, actions and decisions.
This influence on employees is hard to quantify because it is so great. In an ever white-collar economy, inspiration and fulfillment is on par with monetary compensation and if not more, so assessing the employee’s state of mind and bettering it, is of great importance that will make or break the next standard setting and forward looking companies.
An exception to the rule is when leaders inside the company exist, but even those have to answer and modify their projects and mission objectives to cater to the CEO.
The takeaway: choose your CEOs with a background in the craft the company is set out to dominate in.