A CEO is nothing without his/her employees, who can either make or break a company. They are a brand’s first encounter with the public and also the ones who interact with the consumers, therefore, every business leader should know how to accommodate them in order to come up with the best results for themselves and their enterprise.
Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla may be interested solely in engineering and design, but he knows that “the path to the CEO’s office should not be through the CFO’s office and it should not be through the marketing department […]”, which means that having the company’s best interests should be a CEO’s essential concern.
Otherwise, he/she can cause conflicts in the company, create dissatisfied employees and resort to bad business moves that can ultimately ruin a company. After putting together the information available on the employee review website Glassdoor, Business Insider drew a list of the most disliked CEOs. What they seem to have in common is the lack of direction and respect for employees.
Ursula Burns, CEO of Xerox
According to Glassdoor, the disapproval rating she received from the company’s employees is as high as 72%, which makes her top the list of the most disliked CEOs.
Burns is famous for the number of people she laid off; according to several sources, firing has become as simple as offering a salary bonus for reasons that are hardly ever understood; for all we know, she could be screaming “Off with his head!” and nobody would be surprised. For example, Ursula Burns laid off the Research & Development (R&D) staff just when Xerox’s market was down and the company needed experienced people, just like the ones she fired.
Burns’ prior experience is impressive, with the role of Barack Obama’s economic advisor to top her achievements. For this reason, the logic behind her business strategy becomes highly confusing.
Columnist, author and TV journalist Bob Lonsberry says, “with friends like Xerox, who needs enemies”.
Tim Morse, former Interim CEO of Yahoo!
When Marissa Mayer became the CEO of Yahoo, she found the mess left by Tim Morse, the interim CEO who scored a 69% disapproval rating. International Business Times points out the fact that although Yahoo decided to fire former CEO Carol Bartz, hiring Morse was hardly a good idea.
According to Trip Chowdhry, Research Analyst at Global Equities, Tim Morse was a “much worse” choice than Bartz. “Both Carol and Tim should have been fired together as they both damaged Yahoo’s business and repairing it will be extremely difficult”, he concludes.
In short, Tim Morse had no idea how to operate this tech-savvy company.
Steve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft
Although Microsoft is currently seeking a new CEO that can bring the company afloat after Ballmer’s mess, the enterprise’s employees still think that Ballmer was hardly a good CEO; therefore, his disapproval rating was as high as 65%.
Although Bill Gates was considered a difficult executive, employees were so dissatisfied with Steve Ballmer that they even wanted Gates back. Under the latter’s ruling, Microsoft’s market capitalization became approximately one-third in ten years, Financial Times Global 500 reports.
Jeff Kagan, IT analyst, columnist and author even stated that: “Microsoft has happy customers and it is natural for them to transform and lead the new industry. They have just not done that over the last decade.”
Steve Ballmer failed to lead Microsoft into the mobile world and caused it to fall behind. The promise he made back in 2000 when he became CEO was only a smoking gun to the fact that Ballmer is a man of words, not actions. “Once Gates leaves, I am not going to need him for anything”, the then-proud CEO said.
Lowell McAdam, CEO of Verizon
The fact that Lowell McAdam’s CV is a string of achievements that helped Verizon thrive cannot be denied, but the 62% disapproving rating shows that his personality is not as charming as his actions.
Rumors say that he even evaded taxes, but one thing is certain: McAdam is one CEO who does not respect his employees. As a result, according to a few employees who stepped up and reviewed life at Verizon, the hardest thing an employee does is to go to work for a whole month. Instead, they pour their anger into personal blogs that attack Lowell McAdam and Verizon.
Jim Crowe, former CEO of Level 3 Communications
Level 3 Communications’ former CEO Jim Crowe may not have been such an awful executive, but he lacked direction and did not know how to take care of the company, therefore, explaining why he received a disapproval rating of 57%.
A Level 3 Communications employee who wished to remain anonymous poured his heart out on Glassdoor, showing that the company was a total mess in which confusion was king.
“People either love or hate it, depends on their job since every group is different. A major drawback of the company is that various divisions of the firm operating differently might lead to confusion as to the director in which the firm is heading. Moreover, this even leads to confusion in synchronization of the firm. Employees’ advice is to streamline company functions and add better direction to it”, he states.