8 Executives Who Had A Very Tough Year 2014


While there were those who were breaking records and there were a few breaking bad. The grass is always greener on the other side through green tinted shades. While there were many who were surprisingly hired and a few disappointing lay-offs. 2014 was no different, we cover the year’s biggest top management who saw good luck turn it’s back to them.

Tough 2014 CEO Executives

1. Travis Kalanick, UBER

The biggest hit and crash of 2014 was UBER. Accused of running a faulty firm by advertising faulty safety standards, LA and San Francisco district attorneys want Uber to stop operating. Uber operations have been suspended in Bangkok, Madrid and Portland for allegedly disrespecting the statutes concerning them. The big bomber amongst these is the rape incident in India that has held Kalanick responsible. Uber actually saw a big leap in 2014 and also the lowest point. Only a miracle can fix the severed brand image of Uber.

2. Mikael Hed, ROVIO

The famous Finnish maker of angry birds saw the anger of his stakeholders when his venture into animation and publishing earned him more anger and less profits. Unable to revive the game and also to develop another record braking game with earnings falling to 26.9m which is a 52% fall. Pekka Rantala is now appointed.

3. Gurbaksh Chahal, RADIUM ONE

On the October of 2008, Oprah had a 26 year old guest, an American of indian origin who she quoted was living the “American Dream”- Gurbaksh. He founded BlueLithium, an internet advertising firm which he sold it to Yahoo at an overwhelming $300m. A few years later he founded Radium One, another advertising network that was the 9th largest network globally. His marketing acumen didn’t let him down but his inhumane behavior did.

In August 2013, a security camera video shows a footage of him beating up his girlfriend 117 times! On April 26th, he was kicked out of his own company.

4. Abraham Mathews and Gautam Thakkar, INFOSYS

On the alleged grounds of inflated invoicing, an Infosys BPO subsidiary in Europe seems to have been sending overpriced bills to Apple. Though the amount was financially insignificant, Abraham Mathews, the CFO then was sacked in November 2014. “For not complying with the code of conduct”, Mathews along with 6-7 BPO executives were fired on the light of this event. Mathews was not involved in the inflation of bills but he didn’t raise a red flag, say sources. Deepak Bhalla has been replaced now. Gautam Thakkar the CEO then resigned by taking moral responsibility.

5. Thorsten Heins , BLACKBERRY

The struggling smartphone maker, Blackberry has seen the worst this year in terms of the handset sales. The market share of Blackberry has been falling dramatically. The US market cap for the company has come down to 3% and also the shareholders are looking to sell the shares even at a loss. On account of this Blackberry took a call this November by firing Thorsten and replacing him with John Chen.

6. Chris Viehbacher, SANOFI

The global pharmaceutical leader sacked it’s then CEO Chris Viehbacher on account of non performance. Been with the company for 6 years, Chris was forced to leave. It is alleged that the stock performance fell to a mere 14% and disappointing quarter earnings, the board had come to this decision. Also it is rumored that the board did not like Mr. Viehbacher’s move to the US, hence the decision.

7. Wu Qingyong, ULTRASONIC

The Chinese company based in Frankfurt realized that the CEO Wu, had been embezzling cash for his personal uses. Amidst the suffering profits and recession, Wu cleverly manipulated the system and made money. In his reports he says that it was small amounts and he was planning to repay it back but the whole deed came into light in September this year followed by the board sacking him.

8. Gregg Steinhafel, TARGET

The retail major sacked it’s CEO Gregg on account of data breach which affected an estimated of 40 million customers. The board has now vowed to never let something like this happen and the stock has been hit the worst. The holiday season credit card security breach turned out to be the worst disaster for the company’s prospective expansions.

In the light of many IT majors handing over pink slips to under-performing employees, you never know who’s next. TCS, IBM and Yahoo have already started the process in India and many other firms seem to be laying groundwork for the same. We hope 2015 ends this trend.

  1. Jara Socho says

    The interesting story will be their progress during 2015 and 2016.Every Company / CEO goes thru or must go thru difficult times.Successful strategy in coping up the challenges will be more interesting stories and may create some Icons.

  2. vinodh says

    thanks for this news. i am aware of names listed in 1,3,4 .
    others first time.

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