Here’s How 3 of the World’s Worst CEOs Almost Killed Their Companies by Creating a Toxic Culture – Inc.

Here’s How 3 of the World’s Worst CEOs Almost Killed Their Companies by Creating a Toxic Culture – Inc.

Marissa Mayer
Being the boss of a major corporation isn't easy. It's a hugely challenging job which, at least in theory, is why such leaders command astronomically high salaries. A very few people have the needed skills to take on that challenge and lead their companies to success. A lot of people don't have those skills, but somehow manage to land the top job anyway. The personal finance site GOBankingRates recently came out with a fascinating list of 28 CEOs who either saved or sank major companies. Some of these were successful executives who came into a struggling company and failed in their attempts to turn it around. For example, Marissa Mayer was supposed to revive Yahoo's falling revenues but wound up selling it to Verizon after things got worse instead of better. But it takes particular ineptitude to start with a perfectly successful company and drive it toward failure. .


That's especially true when the reason for the decline has nothing to do with the company's product or services, and everything to do with bad behavior by its executives. Here are three CEOs who almost killed the companies they led by--unintentionally or intentionally--creating a toxic culture and damaging their own brands. There's an important lesson here for every leader: In the long run, your company's reputation is its single biggest asset. If employees' behavior (or yours) are a threat to that asset, you had better do something about it before it's too late. Or you could simply ask yourself what these three gentlemen would do, and then do the opposite. 1. Uber CEO Travis Kalanick Travis Kalanick founded Uber in 2009 and it was the very definition of disruptive. The company shook up the taxi industry, often by launching its services first and dealing with regulators later. That aggressive approach built Uber into a $71 billion company, but also led to big mistakes, such as when a self-driving Uber killed a pedestrian last spring, or when it expanded into China, leading to heavy losses. But perhaps the worst black mark against Kalanick was the ....

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