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Greenberg: And the Worst CEO of 2013 Is...?

By: Herb Greenberg | 12/19/13 - 02:47 PM EST

SAN DIEGO (TheStreet) -- It may appear obvious to you, because you're an investor in a company whose shares have been pummeled. Maybe the past few quarters were horrible. Or maybe you're an employee, a former employee, a customer or a supplier.

Everybody thinks they know who the year's worst CEO is -- or should be.

Every year I go through this exercise of trying to determine who should be the worst CEO, and who the runners up should be, and every year I anguish over it. I screen for bad performers looking at stock prices overlaid with various financial metrics. (My favorite is anything that shows growth, or lack thereof, though that can be skewed by acquisitions.)

I solicit ideas from readers, social media followers and viewers.

I consult with colleagues and analysts.

I try to avoid being tempted by what might be a good headline vs. who really deserves it.

And then ... I pick.

Remember, the one rule of being included on the list: The CEO must currently be on the job. I also tend to stick with larger cap companies. This year I've added a twist: Going into detail on several companies whose CEOs were nominated but, in the end, didn't make the final cut.

The Nominees

It's easy to knee-jerk react to some kind of bad news and nominate someone. But after doing a deep dive -- and wrestling with myself over the merits -- there are some who deserve to be in the spotlight, and even nominated, but in the end don't deserve to make it to runner up.

If nothing else, the process (for me, at least) is instructive, while (for you) providing a window into my thought process.

Among those who didn't make the cut after considerable research:

Herb Greenberg, editor of Herb Greenberg's Reality Check, is a contributor to CNBC. He does not own shares, short or trade shares in an individual corporate security.

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