11. Sepp Blatter
For 17 years, Sepp Blatter was president of International Federation of Association Football (FIFA), the governing body of soccer — the most popular sport in the world. FIFA had been dogged by rumors of corruption for years, but Blatter adamantly denied these. He continued denying them even as evidence mounted that he and several other top officials had each been the recipients of tens of millions of dollars in under-the-table bonuses. In addition, Blatter was accused racketeering and other ethics violations. FIFA forced Blatter to resign and banned him from attending FIFA soccer games for eight years.
12. Megan Brennan
Title: Postmaster General
Megan Brennan became last February the first woman Postmaster General of the United States. As first class mail volume — the most profitable postal segment — continues to decline, Brennan may be one of the last individuals to ever hold the once highly influential position. In her own words at a recent congressional hearing, Brennan described the U.S. Postal Service as “not sustainable.” As Brennan explained, the USPS maintains an extensive network, and “the cost of the network is fixed or growing, regardless of volume.” Having already posted more than $3 billion in losses this year, Brennan and the USPS face an uphill battle to return to profitability.
13. Ursula Burns
Appointed chief executive of Xerox in 2009, Ursula Burns is the first black woman in history to run a Fortune 500 company. Burns’s position at Xerox is all the more remarkable as she started at the very bottom — a summer intern — in 1980. Though her personal story is a manifestation of the American dream, Xerox’s story is that of a once great American company in near free fall.
Revenue dropped in each of the past five years, and the company announced its intention to split by year’s end. Notably, Burns will no longer be at the helm after the planned spinoff.
14. Jeb Bush
Former Florida Governor, son of one former American president and brother of another, Jeb Bush is a member of one of America’s great political dynasties. At one time, his experience and family connections had many convinced he would be a shoo as the Republican Party’s 2016 presidential nominee. Once the primary race began, however, Bush was not able to gain traction with a majority of conservative voters. Despite raising more than $160 million, far more than any of other candidate, Bush suffered embarrassing defeats in the Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina primaries. He suspended his bid for the presidency on February 20, 2016.
15. David Cameron
The citizens of Great Britain voted in a referendum this year to leave the European Union, the economic partnership the country had been a part of since 1973. While some prominent politicians supported the move, referred to as Brexit, UK Prime Minister David Cameron was adamantly against it. When the referendum succeeded under his watch, Cameron promptly resigned in a short speech outside of 10 Downing Street, the prime minister’s home and office.