Worst CEO of 2010

 Haward Pictures, Images and Photos
2010 was a year that showcased a bunch of good CEO’s, as well as, some bad CEO’s. I can probably think of more good ones than bad ones for 2010, which is encouraging. Unfortunately, it is more difficult to select one CEO as the ‘best’ in 2010 because it is often like comparing apples to oranges. Choosing the worst CEO in 2010 was a much easier task for me this time around because I felt that person stood above the rest. That person is former BP CEO, Tony Hayward.

Of all the major corporations out there, there are likely more American CEO’s than any other nationality. It is surely not a bright spot for the UK that it is one of their own and not an American that is 2010′s worst CEO of the year. Tony Hayward was the top dog at BP when the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico took place earlier in the year. His handling of that situation was a textbook example of what NOT to do in a crisis. He showed himself to be an incompetent, careless and overwhelmed executive during the whole ordeal. He also showed that he was very much out of touch with how the public felt about this event.

Aside from his awful crisis management skills, which really are among the worst I’ve seen in recent years, he showed everyone that he had been a bad executive way before the crisis hit. In light of this oil spill incident, we have all learned that BP has a sketchy track record for safety and quality work. It seems evident to everyone now that Hayward was more concerned with saving a few dollars than he was about making sure the job is done right and in the safest way possible. This is crucial in a business where a mistake often kills people and can cost billions of dollars in property damage. Part of the blame goes to BP executives before Hayward who played a role in developing such a bad corporate culture. However, Hayward continued and likely made this culture worse than it already was.

For these reasons, Tony Hayward of BP is my pick for 2010′s worst CEO of the year. The only bright spot here is that he is no longer CEO of BP, although he is still with the company in a lower executive position.