Photo: Paul Sakuma / AP
Sydney Finkelstein, a professor at Dartmouth College’s Tuck School of Business and author of “Why Smart Executives Fail,” has put together his list of 2012’s worst CEOs.Former Best Buy CEO Brian Dunn is the headliner.
Dunn resigned back in April after allegations about an inappropriate relationship with a much younger employee.
“That’s not why he’s on the list, though,” Finkelstein told Louis Lavelle at Bloomberg Businessweek. “Declining stock price, cratering same-store sales, loss of market share to more nimble competitors, and an addiction to share buybacks that cost the company $6.4 billion with little to show for it — that’s why he’s on the list.”
Finkelstein elaborated in an interview with NPR’s David Greene:
Well, Brian Dunn has been at the helm of the company for several years and Best Buy has been in a freefall. The stock is way down, their cash is down, their same-store sales are down.
And the problem is that people walk into Best Buy, look at the products, look at the TVs and take a few notes and then go home and go on Amazon and buy it at a cheaper price. And the solution that Brian Dunn has tried to come up with has really not worked.
He’s focused on trying to sell more expensive products, he hasn’t tried to fix customer service and he certainly hasn’t tried to fix the online part of the business.
And unfortunately, to top it all off, he got himself into a bit of trouble in an alleged affair with a 29-year-old subordinate, and that probably was the final straw that broke the camel’s back.
As for Best Buy, the retailer’s new CEO Hubert Joly has a long road ahead of him, especially considering the loss of the company’s digital saviour Stephen Gillett to Symantec.
Aubrey McClendon of Chesapeake Energy, Andrea Jung of Avon, Mark Pincus of Zynga, and Rodrigo Rato of Bankia round out Finkelstein’s list of worst CEOs.
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