Nine CEO Failures and Flameouts
Strong leadership matters. When Steve Jobs came back to Apple in 1997, he turned the company around so completely that his products have become the de facto standards when customers think of MP3 players (you know, iPods) and tablets (those are like iPads, right?). But what happens when a corporate leader isn't a visionary, or an inspirational motivator, or a financial wizard? What if he or she is…kind of a dud? The results can be underwhelming. Other factors beyond the C-suite help doom companies, of course, but leaders usually share the blame. From dotcom wannabes to corporate kingpins remembered for their terrible timing, we take a look at some of technology's most uninspiring company creators and chief executives. On the list you'll find the founder of a failed social network now studied at Harvard Business School, the ex-CEO of what may be the shortest-lived public company of the dotcom era and others who showed potential and gained some traction before failing to live up to their early promise.