Following eight straight weeks of profiling the worst CEOs, and the first week of actual community voting, it's time to unveil which four CEOs are moving on to the semifinals and still have a shot at being dubbed the worst CEO in 2012.
The methodology behind the voting is simple. Similar to an NCAA-style basketball bracket, the eight CEOs were pitted into four matchups last week that the community had one week to vote on. This week we're releasing the results of the previous week's voting, and the remaining four CEOs are again going to be bracketed for voting. Voting will continue over the next two weeks until we have a winner, which will be unveiled at the beginning of December.
As you can see, the ball really is in your court, and you do have a say in who merits the coveted title of The Motley Fool's chosen worst CEO of the year. Below the voting bracket, I've included a recap of last week's voting as well as a quick synopsis of this week's matchup; however, I encourage you to revisit the nomination article for a more complete explanation of why that particular CEO was nominated for this dubious honor:
Last week's recap:
- Zynga (NASDAQ:ZNGA) out-farms Facebook (NASDAQ:FB): Keep in mind that this is a matchup you don't want to win! By a vote of 63% to 37%, the Motley Fool community has determined that Mark Pincus' executive exodus and questionable insider sales (as well as pitiful stock performance) far outweigh Facebook's botched IPO and lack of mobile revenue to date.
- Groupon (NASDAQ:GRPN) out-deals Barclays (NYSE:BCS): Daily-deal site CEO Andrew Mason apparently isn't a crowd-pleaser among our community, as the Groupon CEO garnered 68% of votes compared with Bob Diamond's 32%. Perhaps simply being the figurehead of Barclays during a tumultuous time for the company just wasn't enough to crown him worst CEO of 2012.
- Best Buy (NYSE:BBY) mutes Talbots: Like Groupon, Best Buy's earnings report left a lot to be desired by investors. Brian Dunn's missteps in foreseeing an industrywide shift, as well as his inappropriate relationship with an intern, proved to be viler than Talbots' CEO Trudy Sullivan's sale of the company to a private equity firm for lower than it was previously offered by the same firm. Even though Dunn moves on by a vote of 57% to 43%, I'm not sure anyone won here!
- Chesapeake Energy (NYSE:CHK) hits the gas past Bristol-Myers Squibb (NYSE:BMY): Lastly, the self-serving ways of Chesapeake CEO Aubrey McClendon proved too great for Bristol's poor decision making (i.e., its Inhibitex purchase), as McClendon garnered 56% of the vote compared with just 44% for Lamberto Andreotti.
Semifinal matchup: Best Buy vs. Chesapeake Energy
This will definitely be an interesting matchup, as both Best Buy's previous CEO Brian Dunn, and Chesapeake Energy's current CEO, Aubrey McClendon, have provided a constant distraction for investors. In one corner, Dunn brings an inappropriate relationship with a subordinate to the table, along with the inability to foresee a change in consumer shopping habits. The other corner presents McClendon, who has been implicated by Reuters on multiple occasions of questionable spending practices, all while raking in a king's ransom for a compensation package. Which CEO has truly been worse this year? We're leaving that up to you to decide
Check back for results
Be sure to check out the other worst CEO semifinal matchup at the following link, and check back next week, when we unveil the results and highlight the final round of voting to help determine who is The Motley Fool's choice for worst CEO of 2012.
Fool contributor Sean Williams has no material interest in any companies mentioned in this article. You can follow him on CAPS under the screen name TMFUltraLong, track every pick he makes under the screen name TrackUltraLong, and check him out on Twitter, where he goes by the handle @TMFUltraLong.
The Motley Fool owns shares of Facebook, Best Buy, and Chesapeake Energy, as well as calls on Facebook and has created a synthetic long position on Chesapeake Energy. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Facebook. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.