5 worst CEOs of 2013
There’s no better time then now. Let’s take a look at the invest correctly Worst CEOs of 2013.
5. It’s very easy to end up on this list when you’re apart of a company that has declining sales, bleeding cash and mortgaged its best asset to Goldman Sachs (GS), its real estate. Then when Goldman gets a little scared you’re going to issue more debt and dillute them they issue a scathing report that makes issuing equity the only way to go and makes it even more expensive. Then you deny that you will be raising money and then after hours you shock investors with it. Something later on the SEC would have questions about. Come on down Myron E. Ullman Chairman Executive Officer of J.C. Penney (JCP). Even the good news hasn’t been that good as it has come in the form of very carefully worded statements about minor positive trends from the company comparing growth to an abysmal 2012 that saw double digit declines in sales. The one thing he has going for him is he is the only one in our top 5 still performing his job.
4. He was named the worst CEO of 2012 by Hank Greenberg of CNBC so it’s not a surprise that he made this list. 2013 turned out to be the year that Andrew Mason was shown the door. He may have rated lower if Groupon (GRPN) wasn’t an overhyped IPO for a company that is a long shot to ever profit. Mason always seemed the CEO by default that backed into things and it showed. The SEC came knocking when it didn’t like their reporting practices. Its had a series of accounting restatements, lack of profits, and a CEO with goofball antics. What antics? I think blaming your incoherence in a business meeting on too much beer is enough.
3. In 2007, Blackberry (BBRY) was a verb almost to the level of facebook’ing but by 2013 Thorsten Heins was running the show until he received $16 million to take a hike on November 4th after Fairfax Financial’s (FFH.CA) offer to purchase the company failed. The company’s market share had declined to a measly 1.7% share which led to firing 4500 and taking a $1B dollar markdown in inventory resulting in an open letter to tell customers it wasn’t going out of business. His time at Blackberry was characterized by a tunnel vision to the reality that Android, iPhone and even Windows Phone were making Blackberry seem like a dinosaur. He saw no future for tablets, which I’m sure Microsoft (MSFT), Apple (AAPL), and Google (GOOG) are laughing at.
2. Sandridge (SD) former CEO Tom Ward received a $90.9 million severance as he was shown the door. Shares have declined from $70 in the 2007 IPO to just over $5 as of writing. And if that wasn’t enough Tom Ward was fired due to a shareholder revolt lead by activist hedge fund TPG-Axon headed by Mr. Dinakar Singh, whom had accused Ward of profiting from self-dealing in a series of transactions with companies and trusts owned by his family. Land was purchased from the trusts at a markup. Private investigators detailed dozens of incestuous transactions that defrauded shareholders.
1. There is only one company that had the power to be on this list twice and it took a special year from J.C. Penney but Ron Johnson the former Senior Vice President of Retail Operations at Apple Inc (AAPL) where he pioneered the concept of the Apple Retail Stores and the Genius Bar, is our winner. Before Apple, Johnson was previously Vice President of Merchandising for Target (TGT) and also worked at Mervyns. Ron Johnson was supposed to make J.C. Penney over into a new breed of competitor that was more up-scale and instead managed to trample on it’s remaining customers and ruthlessly burn cash remodeling stores without doing any tests to verify the merits. Large portions of stores were under construction and when they finished they were almost completely dormant. He got rid of the brands the last shoppers they had loved and tried to eliminate the coupons that drove the shoppers in. The results were disastrous and he was fired and J.C. Penney has issued $2B in debt and almost $1B in new equity to try to replenish cash lost and to undo “The Ron Johnson ERA”. Oh yeah they also had to apologize to customers for the changes in an effort to win them back.