"the workforce doesn't carry the hopes and dreams of shareholders on their back"
Actually, it is the workforce that carries the "hopes and dreams" of shareholders, because it ain't the CEO going on-site to deal with customers, now is it ?
It might be time to reevaluate the pecking order. The CEO is the mouthpiece of the company, gives the direction in which the company should go and oversees that the engagements are being kept, and that's it. It is a job, to be sure, but so is going to client site and keeping the client happy.
And, you can replace a CEO anytime without impacting either company revenue or customer satisfaction. You can't do that with the peons that actually do the work and bring in the money.