Well, to me it's pretty important and I'm not even an executive. I am just someone who holds good manners in very high regard. I'm sure that at some point though, a dining faux pas or some heinous act that induced a gag reflex cost someone a raise, a promotion, or something.
Well, that's precisely why The Wall Street Journal recently reviewed a few online and DVD courses that are available to teach people some tips on dining etiquette. It's rather interesting that this kind of thing needs to be taught to adults but I'm pretty sure we've all been witnesses to some pretty revolting and/or just plain rude table manners.
So, I guess I shouldn't really question why some people never learned basic etiquette in the first place and just be thankful that there are people out there fighting the battle against bad manners.
An interesting read on the subject of the evolution of table manners is The Rituals of Dinner by Margaret Visser.