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What CEO Resignations Reveal

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What CEO resignations revealCEO’s often experience overwhelming pressure to perform. But many CEO’s are misaligned with corporate objectives. Some make poor or even fatal decisions under stress, while others allow their character flaws to spin out of control.  When CEO’s sabotage their own best efforts and fail to bring their best selves to the workplace, they can experience untold embarrassment, despair, and untimely resignations. So what do sudden CEO resignations reveal?

Recent CEO Resignations

On November 3, 2019, McDonald’s Corporation announced that CEO Steve Easterbrook would step down as a result of his consensual relationship with an employee that violated company policy.

On September 25, 2019, Juul CEO Kevin Burns resigned. Burns’ simply took too long to acknowledge the potential health risks of the company’s vaping products.  On September 9, the FDA banned marketing to young users and various flavored-vaping products. Some states have already followed suit.

On September 24, 2019,  WeWork parent, We Company, stated that its controversial founder, Adam Neumann, would step down as CEO amid reports of his predilection for marijuana and over-the-top grandiosity. Investors and others had already raised concerns about the company’s governance and business model.
On March 28, 2019,  Wells Fargo CEO Tim Sloan resigned due to the widespread sales practices scandal based on opening millions of unauthorized consumer accounts.

On Jan. 23,  2019, Carlos Ghosn resigned as chairman and CEO of Renault, the largest French car maker, on accusations of financial misconduct. Ghosn had served as the CEO of Michelin North America, chairman of AvtoVAZ, chairman and former CEO of Nissan, and chairman of Mitsubishi Motors.

On January 8, 2019, Herbalife’s chief executive Richard Goudis resigned over unspecified comments he made prior to taking the helm contrary to the company’s expense-related policies and business practices. According to the news release, his departure was not due to any issues regarding the company’s financial reporting.

On September 10, 2018, Les Moonves, Chairman, President and CEO of US media giant CBS resigned following allegations of sexual misconduct.

On July 17, 2018, Texas Instruments Chief Executive Brian Crutcher resigned due to violations of the company’s code of conduct, less than two months after taking the control of the company. The semiconductor company stated that “the violations are related to personal behavior that is not consistent with our ethics and core values.”

On June 15, 2018, Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes resigned after Holmes and Theranos were charged with fraudulently raising in excess of $700 million from investors. Holmes made numerous misleading statements about the firm’s portable blood analyzer,

On June 1, 2018, Samsonite CEO Ramesh Tainwala resigned after allegations that he padded his resume by falsifying his academic credentials.

On January 27, 2018, Steve Wynn, CEO of Wynn Resorts Ltd. and Finance Chair of the Republican National Committee resigned after dozens of accusations of rape and sexual harassment.

In 2016, Toshifumi Suzuki, the 83-year-old Japanese businessman whose Seven & I Holdings is the parent company of the 7-Eleven chain, announced he was resigning as CEO at a press conference by stating “It is my lack of virtue and I am unbearably ashamed.”

The Optimal Thinking CEO

Optimal Thinking CEO’s know that their main job in this life is to be their best self.  They make decisions from a peaceful state of mind, are true to themselves, others and their company. They see implementation of the corporate vision as an opportunity to make the most of their own talents, abilities, and best efforts. These leaders place their best self in charge of obstacles and roadblocks while they point the best way forward. They lead by example and bring out the best from their people.


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8 Responses to “What CEO Resignations Reveal”

  1. Kim Waters says:

    Rosalene, thanks for compiling this list. These leaders do not deserve to be at the helm and remind us to as you say, stay true to ourselves.

  2. Doreen K says:

    How about Carlos Ghosn being charged for the 4th time. Let’s see if power and privilege win over justice this time.

  3. Martin Bolton says:

    Staying true to myself in the face of tough competition is a challenge I struggle with. This post reminds me to make the right decisions not just for the moment but for the long run. Interesting post and very interesting website.

  4. Shelley T says:

    I’ve worked for several questionable CEOs who don’t make the headlines. Too many get away with too much. This article is a reminder that integrity is the first, second, third quality that leaders must maintain. Thanks for taking the time to do the research.

  5. Brian Jackson says:

    Just saw the documentary about Elizabeth Holmes and her Theranos caper. Glad you included her. Great post. Keep them coming.

  6. John Carpin says:

    As a fortune 1000 C-level professional, I have worked for great CEO’s and others who I did not admire. This post tells it as it is. Thanks.

  7. Harold J says:

    Great article. You get to the heart of leadership, both personal and business. If you don’t put your best self in charge, you pay the price.

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