The worst CEO of 2012 was former Best Buy head honcho Brian Dunn, according to a list compiled by Professor Sydney Finkelstein at The Daily Ticker.
Finkelstein, a professor at Dartmouth College’s Tuck School of Business, included Aubrey McClendon (Chesapeake Energy), Andrea Jung (Avon), Mark Pincus (Zynga), and Rodrigo Rato (Bankia) in his list, but it was Dunn who took the mantle of worst CEO of 2012 – despite that fact he resigned in April.
Dunn left the ailing retail giant after allegations emerged about an inappropriate relationship between himself and a much younger employee. However, as Finkelstein explained to Bloomberg Businessweek, his choice of Dunn as the worst CEO of 2012 was down to other factors:
“[The alleged relationship is] not why he’s on the list. 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 explained his decision further in an interview with NPR:
“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.”
Do you agree with Finkelstein’s list of the worst CEOs of 2012?