Can business executives succeed without email?

MLB Commissioner Bud Selig has never sent an email, but he’s not alone. Is it still a vital communications lifeline, or an electronic albatross?

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Shocking? Maybe. Though the 78-year-old Selig is certainly not the most tech-savvy business executive, he’s also not the first to say he shuns email.

However, key questions remain: How can one of the most prominent executives in sports not use email? More broadly, can high-powered executives succeed without it? Many business execs think it’s turned into an outdated, time-wasting communication tool, Selig might actually be ahead of the curve.

In 2011, French IT firm Atos famously abolished internal email use from company communications. Two years later, the “zero email initiative” has been deemed a success.

Many business leaders have followed suit. Ryan Holmes, the chief executive of social media management system HootSuite, has called email an “unproductivity tool.” There’s also Shayne Hughes, CEO of Learning as Leadership, who led an experiment abolishing all internal email use for one week.

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