Is Your Business Harboring Rogues?
Fuld blamed "rumours, speculation, misunderstandings and factual errors" for the collapse. "I want to be very clear. I take full responsibility for the decisions that I made and for the actions that I took based on the information we had at the time," he said, but there was nothing he would have done differently.
In 2009, Portfolio magazine ranked Dick Fuld the worst CEO in the history of American business.
The greed and utter lack of common sense by Dick Fuld and his counterparts at Bear Stearns, Merrill Lynch, Bank of America, AIG and others—all conned by the geeky quants in their back rooms—brought the U.S. economy to its knees.
Quite simply a business model based entirely on customers that cannot pay their bills is nuts.
3. Carly Fiorina and the Near Destruction of Hewlett-Packard
In 1998, Carleton S. (Carly) Fiorina was president of AT&T spin-off Lucent Technologies and responsible for one of the most successful IPOs in American history, raising $3 billion.
That year in its ranking of the 50 most powerful women executives, FORTUNE's editors wrote of Fiorina, "It may surprise you that our No. 1 woman is someone you've never heard of."
One-year later Fiorina became the first woman to head a FORTUNE 100 company when she was hired to be CEO of Hewlett-Packard, which had 40 percent market share of the computer printer business.
Her six-year tenure was a disaster, and she was ousted in 2005.
• Over serious objections by the Hewlett and Packard families, in 2002 she engineered the merger of HP with Compaq. As described by FORTUNE's Carol Loomis:
The fundamental and overpowering problem here is that HP's shareholders paid $24 billion in stock to buy Compaq and in exchange got relatively little value ...To sum up the damaging mathematics: In the beginning, the old HP shareholders owned 100% of the printer business. After the merger, they owned only 63%.