Special Report

Nine CEOs With the Worst Reputations

9. J. Paul Raines
> Company: GameStop
> CEO rating: 40%
> Company rating: 2.7
> Years as CEO: 4
> No. of employees: 17,000

Despite a business model that some say is outdated, and disappointing per-share earnings, GameStop Corp. (NYSE: GME) CEO Paul Raines received a total compensation package of roughly $11.4 million during the company’s 2012 fiscal year, a 95% increase from 2011. In fact, the combined compensation of GameStop’s top five executives, including Raines, was $34.7 million in 2012, up from $19.4 million in 2011. Comparably, the average hourly salaries of sales associates and game advisors were just above minimum wage. According to Glassdoor, employee morale is low not only due to the modest pay, but also because of the increased number of store closings. Some analysts are questioning whether the retail video game seller can survive competition from larger retailers such as Walmart and Amazon.com, and whether it can sustain its business model.

8. Jeffrey Yabuki
> Company: Fiserv
> CEO rating: 39%
> Company rating: 2.5
> Years as CEO: 9
> No. of employees: 21,000

Employees of Fiserv Inc. (NASDAQ: FISV), which sells information technology and e-commerce products, were resentful of layoffs due to frequent M&A activity. The company has acquired more than 140 acquisitions since it was founded in 1984, with the most recent being the 2013 acquisition of Open Solutions. The biggest criticism of the company under Yabuki’s direction is how frugal it is with compensation, according to comments on Glassdoor. Employees also felt that the company’s upper management does not listen to employees’ ideas on how to improve the company. Some former employees who commented on Glassdoor said that Yabuki is disrespectful to the company’s workers, claiming he once said, “If you don’t like the way we do business, there’s the door.”

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7. Bill Nuti
> Company: NCR
> CEO rating: 39%
> Company rating: 2.5
> Years as CEO: 9
> No. of employees: 29,300

NCR Corp. (NYSE: NCR), based in Duluth, Ga., produces ATM machine technology, bar code scanners and other devices used in the sales process. While the company’s revenues grew to $6.2 billion in 2013 from $6.0 billion in 2012, employees showed a strong dislike of their CEO, Bill Nuti. One of the most common complaints among current and former employees on Glassdoor is that under Nuti, people can be called to work on a moment’s notice at any time during the week. They also criticized upper management for maintaining a structure in which decisions are based on cronyism, rather than what’s good for the company. One current employee, while commenting on Glassdoor, wrote to upper management, “We carry your water every day, and you disrespect us every day, we’re just your minions. You put out surveys, obviously you pay no attention to them or things would begin changing.”

6. Mike Jeffries
> Company: Abercrombie & Fitch
> CEO rating: 31%
> Company rating: 2.8
> Years as CEO: 22
> No. of employees: 9,000

Employees of casual clothing retailer Abercrombie & Fitch Inc. (NYSE: ANF) not only earn low salaries, but also suffer from low company morale, exacerbated by several controversial statements made by CEO Mike Jeffries. The board recently stripped Jeffries of his chairman role, following a campaign by hedge fund Engaged Capital that cited the company’s financial performance. Jeffries has also been criticized for his racy comments, including statements about selling thongs to pre-teenage girls and the stores’ target market — “cool” not “fat.” One store manager on Glassdoor advised upper management to “Get over yourselves. Get rid of Mike, revamp the board, bring on all new upper management from execs, directors, and RM’s. Learn to pay employees a salary to actually live on.” Likely making employees resentful, even as same-store sales declined the past eight consecutive quarters, Jeffries earned more than $79 million from 2010 to 2012. Jeffries signed a one-year employment contract in December, despite the fact that several large shareholders wanted him ousted.

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5. Ursula M. Burns
> Company: Xerox
> CEO rating: 30%
> Company rating: 2.74
> Years as CEO: 5
> No. of employees: 140,000

Ursula Burns made headlines in 2009 when she became the first African-American woman CEO of a Fortune 500 company. Burns has been exceptionally visible during her tenure, making frequent public appearances even as the company’s prospects have faltered. Burns pushed for the $6.4 billion acquisition of Affiliated Computer Services that closed in 2010, claiming it would help the business. Xerox Corp. (NYSE: XRX), though, has yet to see any substantial benefit from the deal. Late last year, the company called the police prior to announcing 168 layoffs at its Cary, N.C., facility, noting they “were expecting trouble.” It was the second round of a total of roughly 500 layoffs. This treatment of employees stands in contrast to how the board treats Burns, awarding her an average of $13 million a year between 2010 and 2012. One former employee, commenting on Glassdoor, said, “Most upper management have received salary increase over the last 6 years, but staff has not.”

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