The most notable C-suite apologies of 2012

A number of CEOs offered high-profile mea culpas this year. Here’s a look at some of the most noteworthy examples.

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The public apology has long been a staple of PR and reputation management, and this year saw a large number of C-level mea culpas. Some were mandated, while others were designed to beg forgiveness, right wrongs, or restore good will.

Here’s my list of the most notable.

The app-ology

Instagram was forced to backpedal after issuing a modified terms of service policy that many feared could “effectively transform the website into the world’s largest stock photo agency.” In a blog post, cofounder Kevin Systrom blamed “confusing language” and pledged not to sell users’ photos. His statement did quell one controversy, but the social media storm has raised other issues about privacy and user protections.

The pink slip

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