The Ten Most Horrible Bosses

Thanks to for this one – the ten most horrible bosses. They appear to be confined to American bosses, but whether American bosses are adjudged more horrible than bosses in other countries is not clear. Here they are – the ten most horrible bosses of all time:

Steve Ballmer

John Sculley


Mark Hurd


Carly Fiorina


Meg Whitman


John Rogers


John Roth


Frank Dunn


Mike Zafirovski


Bob Allen



  1. Horribleness, Anonymous

  2. What’s the criteria to be on this list?

  3. Talking about Lord Weinstock reminds me.
    Apparently it could be quite bad working for GEC.
    And Lord Simpson made a really bad decision to get out of defence and into telecoms just when the dot com bubble burst, and 9-11 happened.
    One was more predictable than the other.

  4. Oh Yes, you’re right, i did, Stooriefit, but I think it was with justification. When Pistorio took over the merged Thomson-SGS in 1987 it had revenues of $850m. In the year he retired – 2005 – ST had revenues of nearly $9bn. Six years later, in 2011, ST had revenues of $9.73bn. Pistorio invested well ahead of the market. In areas like MPEG2 and MEMS he invested many years ahead of the market and so, when the market arrived, ST cleaned up. That’s how a great CEO works and performs whereas some poor little inadequate measuring his performance by a ratio like RONA will never deliver growth – though he’ll not ruin the company either. Arnie Weinstock ran GEC by this ratio system of management – something he’d picked up from ITT – and it kept the company ticking over but meant there was no organic growth.

  5. Indeed David, but a certain David Manners once wrote: “What should you ask a semiconductor CEO? The answer, according to Pasquale Pistorio, the great former CEO of STMicroelectronics is: ‘Are you out shopping?’ And, if  not: ‘Why not?'”
    And I think we would put him in the “Alfred” category, rather than the “Peter” one.

  6. Good point, David.
    There are some reputedly some unpleasant media bosses. Both editors and CEOs.
    I’d guess it could get a tad stressful working for a Murdoch.

  7. True, Anonmouse, but how many CEOs have we historically dignified with the honorific ‘The Great’? Not even the most sycophantic Annual Report has, to my knowledge, gone this far.

  8. I’m not sure about your use of the word “now” David.
    Most people with “the great” in their titles were probably that way inclined. Maybe not “Alfred”, but “Peter” and “Alexander” for example.

  9. That explains quite a lot, RobertI, I fear that ‘leadership’ qualities are now equated with psychopathic tendencies.

  10. It may or may not have any relevance here, but BBC4 repeated the Horizon programme on how to spot a psychopath last night, with the interesting snippet that some expert reckons the proportion of people with a disposition to psychopathy in American business is 4 times the rate in the general population. I reckon that I’ve met a few in the British electronics industry over the decades, but none that I supspect are well-known (as managers, that is).

  11. There are always the small pleasures. Having admired Carly’s bum first hand, I can say it does bring some small enjoyment from the horror you get when she turns around.

  12. Well, ex-HP, Tom Perkins did call it “the worst board in the history of business.”

  13. yikes … Last 3 bosses of HP are on the list 🙂 (Apotheker got missed out b’cos he didn’t last long else he would surely make it to the list). Wow that is consistent performance HP board!

  14. My God, mr Cynical, it’d take balls to put him on the list – I like the cheque at the end of the month too much

  15. David, where’s your Boss on the list?

  16. You missed off my current one.

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