Worst CEO: Paul Eibeler of Take-Two

SAN DIEGO (MarketWatch) — In scouting nominees for this year’s Worst CEO award, it hard to top last year’s winner, Scott Livengood, formerly of Krispy Kreme. Even if they had never heard of Livengood, everybody knows Krispy Kreme.

It’s not that there aren’t plenty of candidates. Notables include Fannie Mae’s
ex-chief Franklin Raines and Phil Purcell, formerly of Morgan Stanley
Heck, I can even make an argument that Livengood’s temporary replacement and Krispy Kreme
Stephen Cooper, should be in the running. Without a doubt, however, if he were still on the job the winner would be — hand’s down — Phillip Bennett, who was recently ousted from the top spot at Refco

Still, “on the job” is one of the qualifications for Worst CEO of the Year, which means my No. 1 candidate, Tim Webster of American Italian Pasta, is out of the running. He resigned Monday morning as his company continues to endure regulatory and internal probes into the company’s accounting. Talk about timing!

Who’s left? Oh, there are plenty, but considering how absolutely out-of-control his company appears to be, and how poorly he has executed, I’m proud to announce that this year’s winner of the Worst CEO of the Year award goes to none other than Paul Eibeler of Take-Two Interactive

Eibeler is the latest in a revolving door of CEOs at the video game maker, having taken the post in January for what amounts to a second tour of duty in the company’s executive suite. He left in April of 2003 for “medical leave,” only to resurface three months later as president of Acclaim North America — a job he held for just three months. He rejoined Take-Two in April 2004 as president, before his elevation to CEO. (Acclaim, meanwhile, filed for bankruptcy liquidation in August 2004.) Eibeler’s climb to the top coincided with founder and ex-Chairman Ryan Brant’s topple by regulators to a non-executive position in the wake of accounting issues. As of fiscal 2005’s proxy, filed last May, Brant was still the company’s highest-paid executive; he now runs one of the company’s high profile divisions, which itself has not done tremendously well. (But, don’t worry, he’s not an executive.)

See also  Randstad Swung to 2Q Net and Pretax Profit as Revenue Rose -- Update

Eibeler, for his part, has done such a poor job getting his arms around the company that Take-Two has missed its own earnings guidance for multiple quarters. So far this year it has sliced earnings guidance by more than 60% to a range of 53 cents to 56 cents a share, after the company’s hot-selling game, Grand Theft Auto, was given the dreaded “adult’ rating by the video software industry’s rating group. The company has since suffered a series of setbacks on the rollouts of newer games — a perennial problem at Take-Two that appears to be getting worse.

In the end, the buck stops with the guy at the top and at Take-Two that would be Paul Eibeler. Congratulations, Paul! (To shareholders: condolences.)

This note: If you’re wondering why Patrick “Sith Lord” Byrne of Overstock wasn’t even among the finalists, despite his egregious and outlandish behavior, his company’s string of disappointing results, his extreme IT mismanagement and the appearance that he generally runs his mouth more than his business — the reason is simple: At least his company’s revenues through last quarter were still rapidly growing. (Never mind about the other metrics!) There’s always next year!

View more information: https://www.marketwatch.com/story/correct-worst-ceo-of-the-year

Articles in category: moneyist

Leave a Reply

Back to top button