What ruins a CEO’s reputation?
If the reasoning behind 24/7 Wall St.’s list
of the nine major-company CEOs with the worst reputations, it’s a mix of lacking business performance, lacking or too-forceful employee communications, and taking bonuses while employee salaries remain stagnant.
The three CEOs who earned the dubious honor of topping the list all come from the retail world. Sears Holdings’ Edward S. Lampert claimed the No. 1 spot, with Bill Dillard II of Dillard’s and Do Won Chang of Forever 21 just behind.
Lampert earned criticism for lacking business performance, as well as “pitting divisions against one another.” Employees have complained about poor communication from the front office.
Dillard has taken hits for offering employees low pay, enforcing sales quotas, and reportedly forcing employees to disclose private medical information when taking sick days. All this while “William Dillard II, the CEO, the company’s president, Alex Dillard, and its executive vice president, Mike Dillard, have paid themselves a total of $54 million over three years between 2010 and 2012.”
As for Chang, a Forever 21 company memo issued in August announced that employee salaries and benefits were being cut. Many presumed the move was to avoid paying for health benefits mandated under the Affordable Care Act. Similar to those of Dillard’s, former Forever 21 employees have said they have been threatened with termination for taking sick days.
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Mike Jeffries of Abercrombie & Fitch, yet another retail clothing chain, is in the No. 6 spot. His PR difficulties following Jefferies’s explanation for why the brand’s stores don’t carry XL and XXL clothing for women—they’re for “the cool kids,” he said—have been well documented
Here’s 24/7 Wall St.
’s full list:
1. Edward S. Lampert, Sears Holdings
2. Bill Dillard II, Dillard’s
3. Do Won Chang, Forever 21
4. Ursula M. Burns, Xerox
5. George Paz, Express Scripts
6. Mike Jeffries, Abercrombie & Fitch
7. Bill Nuti, NCR
8. Jeffrey Yabuki, Fiserv
9. J. Paul Raines, GameStop
The site based its rankings of the CEOs on employee reviews at Glassdoor.com
and on examinations of financial documents.