Who are the absolute worst chief executives of 2012? Sydney Finkelstein thinks he knows. The longtime professor at Dartmouth College’s Tuck School of Business is the author of 11 books with such titles as Why Smart Executives Fail and Think Again: Why Good Leaders Make Bad Decisions, so he knows a thing or two about utter failure. He’s been putting out his list for three years now, and last year it included the chief executives of Netflix, Research in Motion, and Hewlett-Packard. Here’s the list (except where noted the companies didn’t respond to a request for comment):
1. Brian Dunn, who resigned as chief executive of Best Buy in April after allegations surfaced that he had an inappropriate relationship with a much younger subordinate. That’s not why he’s on the list, though. Declining stock price, cratering same-store sales, loss of market share to more nimble competitors, and an addiction to share buybacks that cost the company $6.4 billion with little to show for it—that’s why he’s on the list.