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
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
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
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
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
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
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”
Subscribe for E-mail Updates
New on SmarterSpend
- How Hire a Contractor for Less Without Sacrificing Quality
- Top 5 Craigslist Scams to Avoid
- 8 Companies Facing Bankruptcy in 2011
- The Ultimate Personal Finance Blog Rankings from MoneyCrashers!
- Investing in Health Care: 3 Innovative New Drugs to Watch