In the lower reaches, the doers are the central technology or service people and leadership skills develop for the top.
Many times I see companies very focused on getting a General Manager who is very deep in their technology or service. The result is often that the guy has technology but alienates workers, and he must personally work like a dog to make sure they do not fail him.
Expertise is one way that people can be made to follow another. It is better than strict authoritarianism, so many companies turn to it.
They have often then overlooked the leader that will get and retain workers of skill and technology because of who he or she is. This is known as referential leadership and is the highest form of leadership.
These leaders have the character and developmental thought for workers that leads to development of great teams. These leaders are magnets for people with technology in and outside the business.
Ideally you get someone who is both. He or she has the correct and deep technology background and the character to bring others. One risk to this path is that this leader finds his value in doing and is thickly involved in technology. Lower level people are not developed or simply leave as this leader is the everything genius.
Getting smart guys who do not have the technology or industry experience is the worst. They often know how to cheat everyone.
Getting guys with the right industry background is second to worst.
Getting guys with industry and referential leadership is a tie with getting people with referential leadership.
In the case, where the GM must be the central technological salesman, more thought is needed. I still would recommend she has a specific expert while she is the ‘general’ and not specific expert.