Worst CEOs of the Decade

Posted in Corporate by Kevin | Tags: , ,

In a decade with two gigantic recessions, many executives were faced with difficult decisions. Some saw their companies through the tough times and into a prosperous future, while others… failed. They fell flat into the ground, face first.

From those failures, a few stood out as disasters. Leading healthy corporations, they disappointed investors, shareholders, and the economy. Thousands of large businesses have failed, thousands taken over by more powerful and better managed competitors.

In an attempt to differentiate the bad from the worse, Smarter Spend has dug into the past and brought you the Worst CEOs of the 2000s Decade.

I. Robert B. Willumstad
Tenure: June to September 2008

Robert Willumstad

Robert Willumstad

In a short three months, Willumstad guaranteed the failure of AIG and the necessary government intervention which cost taxpayers $180 billion dollars. During his short tenure, AIG shares dropped 97% and the world economy was shaken.

II. Robert “Bob” Nardelli
Company: Home Depot and Chrysler

Tenure: Home Depot, 2000- 2007. Chrysler, 2007 – 2009

Robert Nardelli

Robert Nardelli

During Nardelli’s reign with Home Depot, Lowe’s nearly doubled in size while Home Depot sales remained steady. He was forced to resign, with a severance of $210 million dollars and total earnings of $400 million with the company. Shortly after his failure with Home Depot, he became a failure with Chrysler. The company declared bankruptcy in 2009, received almost a billion dollar loan from the US government, and was forced to close down most of its dealerships.

III. Richard S. Fuld, Jr.

Company: Lehmann Brothers
Tenure: 1994 – 2008

Richard Fuld

Richard Fuld

Fuld received nearly half a billion dollars of compensation during his fifteen year tenure. He sold his 13 million dollar house to his wife for $100 to avoid seizure and currently has an active lawsuit against him by the state of New Jersey. In 2008, Lehmann Brothers declared bankruptcy with $630 billion in assets and a quarter trillion dollars of debt – the largest ever bankruptcy by an investment bank.

IV. Rick Wagoner
Company: General Motors, Inc.

Tenure: 2000- 2009

Rick Wagoner, the look of failure.

Rick Wagoner, the look of failure.

In his 9 year tenure, GM cut jobs, reduced production and tarnished its image, as Wagoner focused on profitable fuel guzzling cars. $20 billion was not enough to save GM from declaring bankruptcy and Wagoner was forced to resign by the federal government in exchange for a short term loan and restructuring promise.

V. Alan Fishman
Company: Washington Mutual (WaMu)

Tenure: September 8 to September 26 , 2008

Alan Fishman

Alan Fishman

During one of the shortest CEO tenures in recent history of only 18 days, Fishman received $19 million dollars in pay while WaMu’s shares tumbled from as high as $45 in 2007 to pennies in 2009. Washington Mutuals bank failure was the largest in American history and the near-trillion dollar company was sold to JP Morgan and Chase for close to $10 billion. Fishman’s approval rating of 7% was the second lowest in 2008.

VI. Angelo Mozilo
Company: Countrywide Financial

Tenure: 1997 – 2008, 11 years

Angelo Mozilo

Angelo Mozilo

Rated as one of the worst CEO’s of corporate America and in the list of CEOs blamed for the Great Recession now haunting our country, Mozilo earned over half a billion dollars from Countrywide while the country fell into the subprime mortgage crisis.

7 Comments to “Worst CEOs of the Decade”

  • None of these are lousy at their jobs. They did exactly what their cronies at the jewish owned The Federal Reserve demanded.

    Most of “the money” never existed in the first place. We live in a world of illusion. Governments aren’t put into power by a democratic process but by those who control the money. The Federal Reserve and The European Central banks. All of which are owned and steered by the same group of jewish owners.

    Please don’t get on my case and accuse me of anti-semitism. I’m just saying as it is. Usually as soon as one utters anything that may be seen as criticism of those behind the control, media, jewish owned to more than 80%, entertainment, about the same, religion, (yes believe it or not religious indoctrination of us and our kids means we live in fear) and the banking system the anti-semite card is played.

    So before condemning these “leaders” get the facts and the reasons behind their actions.

  • I understand that Jews have a disproportionate influence on modern economics, but this article merely states the CEOs that underperformed. Surely, you can’t disagree with the fact that all 6 of these figures had horrible tenures.

  • I agree as well that an idea of a Jewish conspiracy is far fetched, however, I know that more than 2 fortune 500 companies are run by Jews.

    Here are some prominent Jewish CEO’s:

    Ivan Seidenberg – Verizon Communications
    Michael Dell – Dell Computers
    Robert Benmosche – Metlife
    Steven Ballmer- Microsoft
    Michael Eisner – Walt Disney
    Sumner Redstone – Viacom
    Seymour Sternberg- New York Life
    Brian Roberts – Comcast
    Lloyd Blankfein- Goldman Sachs

    Those are just a few that I know off the top of my head, there are also: Google (Brin), Starbucks (Schultz). In the media: Weinstein Company, Miramax , Jeff Zucker (NBC).

    Of course, I point this to clarify your mistakes.

  • You give good ole Rick Wagoner too much credit. You forgot to mention the fact that he blew billions on Fiat. The man took GM from 30% market share down to 20%. Wagoner was responsible for putting all of GM’s resources into the “new line of trucks” just before the price of gas went up.

  • I demand more, this is grate.

  • For a truly bad CEO who don’t have a clue in the world how to run a retail business, JULIAN DAY of RadioShack pretty much takes the cake.  Fires 400+ employess by email, doesn’t know a thing about the company; doesn’t bother to even pretend to move to the HQs’ city of Fort Worth, TX, but makes demands for a private jet to take him back and forth between there and Chicago.  Fires major numbers of people who do know the company and brings in friends from another company that’s boarding on bankruptcy – Blockbuster.  They, in turn, start firing people who know the products and replace them with people who literally know nothing.  DAY takes a company with a decent reputation with people who are knowledgable to a company where products are WAY overpriced and employees who know nothing, as well as having management more obcessed with the way a manager’s desk is and frequent store resets, rather than competatively priced products and excellent customer service.

  • Great insight! I will read more into RadioShack’s story.

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