This article is a continuation of a previous post, Fast Company: 2017’s Best And Worst Moments In Leadership (1/2)
Richard Smith, former CEO of Equifax
CEO Richard (Rick) Smith walked away from one of the largest data breaches on record a rich man. Although he resigned, Smith is taking a cool $90 million into retirement. That adds up to a little less than a dollar for each of the 145.5 million customers whose personal information was stolen. He offered an apology (and free credit monitoring for a year!) but ultimately passed the buck to his employee. “The human error was [that] the individual who was responsible for communicating in the organization to apply the patch did not,” said Smith.
Marissa Mayer, former CEO of Yahoo
Marissa Mayer played the blame game as well when the former Yahoo CEO apologized and pointed fingers at the Russians while testifying for the Senate Commerce Committee. “Unfortunately, while all our measures helped Yahoo successfully defend against the barrage of attacks by both private and state-sponsored hackers, Russian agents intruded on our systems and stole our users’ data,” she said. The 2013 Yahoo data breach was the largest in history, affecting all 3 billion of Yahoo’s accounts, compared with its original estimate of more than 1 billion.
John Kapoor, founder, Insys Therapeutics
The billionaire founder of Insys Therapeutics Inc. John Kapoor resigned from the company’s board of directors and was arrested on charges that he was part of a bribery and racketeering scheme to get doctors to prescribe a very expensive fentanyl-based cancer pain drug and get insurance companies to pay for it. Kapoor and his executives were responsible for further fueling the opioid crisis that claims an estimated 175 lives each day.
Harvey Weinstein, film producer
When an explosive expose was published against the Hollywood mogul alleging the sexual assault and harassment of eight women, Weinstein initially denied it and then condoned his own behavior as rooted in an era with different cultural mores. Many more women came forward, spurring the #metoo campaign that shone the light on other sexual predators. Weinstein’s production company went on the chopping block and left projects it was slated to complete and the hundreds of people who worked on them in limbo.
Mark Zuckerberg, CEO, Facebook
It’s not easy being at the helm of a behemoth social media platform, but it helps to take responsibility for what the beast has wrought. Zuckerberg failed to show up in person on several occasions that demanded his leadership. Most notably, he sent his avatar to hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico, which was widely seen as tone deaf. He dealt with the failure to curb ads that contained scams and malware by writing a Facebook update.
Zuckerberg also failed to personally appear to testify in front of Congress for Russian infiltration of the platform to swing the election, and yet again penned a “serious” statement on Facebook to detail how much the company will invest in security going forward. Dealing with the severity of each of these events by staying behind the screen undermines his leadership and marginalizes issues that have widespread repercussions on Facebook’s users, and more broadly, the U.S. government.
United CEO Oscar Munoz for his lack of leadership after passenger Dr. David Dao, 69, was forcibly pulled off an overbooked United flight. The CEO’s statement labeled the passenger “disruptive” and “belligerent,” and he did not offer an apology. He eventually did apologize, but blamed United’s policies and said his employees were his No. 1 priority, not the airline’s passengers.
Former Uber CEO Travis Kalanick for hanging on to the top spot, long after it was clear that his leadership led the company into repeated scandals around sexual harassment, discrimination, obstruction of regulatory enforcement, and privacy violations. And he’s still hoping to stage a comeback à la Steve Jobs.
Sexual harassers from Matt Lauer and Kevin Spacey to Louis C.K. for not only wielding their power over subordinates to extract their own sexual satisfaction but for largely falling short of admitting guilt and asking for forgiveness in a productive and constructive way.
Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank for flip-flop leadership initially supporting Trump during the Muslim ban, then wavering under customer pressure and resigning from the president’s manufacturing council but not explicitly condemning the Charlottesville violence. Sales and profits of the company plummeted and instigated the layoffs of 300 people.
This article was originally published on www.fastcompany.com, viewed 19th Dec, 2017