None of the “most-hated” companies experienced a PR firestorm or sudden brand meltdown. Instead, their reputations decayed over time, from the inside out, often from the top down. They are indicative of an ongoing PR nightmare—a chronic ailment—as opposed to an abrupt flare-up.
The website 24/7 Wall St. releases this list of the 10 most-hated companies annually; the ranking is determined by stock performance, employee and customer satisfaction, and management decisions.
Topping this year’s list is J.C. Penney, which 24/7 Wall St. called “one of the great public company management disasters of the last few years.”
The disaster to which 24/7 Wall St. refers is the hiring of Ron Johnson as CEO. The former retail chief at Apple did away with periodic sales events, opting instead for everyday low prices. Consumers didn’t take the change well. J.C. Penney saw a 20 decrease in sales and a 40 percent drop in the company’s stock price.