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Weak Leadership: 5 Companies To Avoid

11-time author and professor at Dartmouth College’s Tuck School of Business listed five companies having the worst CEOs in 2012. The top companies listed for 2012 were:

1. Best Buy Co. Inc. ( BBY): Operates as a retailer of consumer electronics, home office products, entertainment products, appliances, and related services primarily in the United States, Europe, Canada, and China. Market cap at $3.89B

2. Chesapeake Energy Corporation ( CHK): Engages in the acquisition, development, exploration, and production of natural gas and oil properties in the United States. Market cap at $11.21B.

3. Avon Products Inc. ( AVP): Engages in manufacturing and marketing beauty and related products in worldwide. Market cap at $6.11B.

4. Zynga, Inc. ( ZNGA): The Company develops online games designed for play on social networking sites. Market cap at $1.9B.

5.Bankia SA. ( BNKXF): provides banking services to individuals, small and medium enterprises, large corporations, and public and private institutions in Spain.


Last year, the companies listed included:

1. Netflix, Inc. ( NFLX): Provides subscription based Internet services for TV shows and movies in the United States and internationally. Market cap at $5.03B.

2. Research In Motion Limited ( RIMM): Designs, manufactures, and markets wireless solutions for the worldwide mobile communications market. Market cap at $6.16B.

3. Hewlett-Packard Company ( HPQ): Offers various products, technologies, software, solutions, and services to individual consumers and small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), as well as to the government, health, and education sectors worldwide. Market cap at $27.6B.


There are things more risky than leadership for a company’s prospects, such as politics (policy) and the stability of a country. After that, leadership can mean enormous growth or catastrophic failure.

The companies listed for 2012 are worth studying. Growth in online shopping is hurting same store sales for  Best Buy. Its  Price of Profitability (as measured by Kapitall) now stands at just 5.  Avon (AVP) did not improve shareholder value after turning down a takeover offer this year. The company is now worth $6 billion.

In the resource sector, the natural gas price plunge that continued from 2011 turned leveraged assets into liabilities for  Chesapeake (CHK).

Unsurprisingly,  Zynga (ZNGA)’s CEO made the list after its shares lost investors an enormous amount of money. The ill-timed strategic divesture from  Facebook (FB) is putting pressure on the company to grow in other markets. Zynga now needs to grow in the mobile space, at a time when profits in this space is itself a challenge – unless the game is a hit.

In the Spanish market,  Bankia (BNKXF) earned a worst CEO title. The chairman, Rodrigo Rato, is being investigated for fraud.

Written by KAPITALL’s Chris Lau


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