Five Worst Non-Financial-Crisis-Related CEOs of 2008 Announced by the Free Enterprise Action Fund (Ticker: FEAOX)
For more info contact: Tom Borelli, 914-793-6827, email@example.com
Washington DC, December 16, 2008 - GE CEO Jeff Immelt topped the Free Enterprise Action Funds list of the Five Worst Non-Financial-Crisis-Related CEOs of 2008. The Free Enterprise Action Fund (Ticker: FEAOX) is a publicly-traded mutual fund.
Since 2005, FEAOX has challenged a variety of CEOs on the premise that bad management can harm shareholders and threaten our entire free market system. CEOs previously spotlighted by the FEAOX include: Chuck Prince, formerly of Citigroup; Lord John Browne, formerly of BP; and Hank Paulson, formerly of Goldman Sachs. The current list purposefully excluded CEOs involved with the current financial crisis, as the crisis has yet to play out completely.
Although we will remember 2008 as the year that incompetent CEOs had to be bailed out by the government, we see these CEOs as the worst as auguring the future of corporate failure, said Tom Borelli of AFM. From banking, to insurance to the auto industry, we believe that many businesses are being run by CEOs that are not up to the task and boards of directors that are out of touch.
Jeff Immelt was the clear winner, in our view. In addition to driving GE stock to 10-year lows, GE did business Iran, a state sponsor of terror. Its rare for a CEO to represent both a financial and a national security risk, but in our view, Immelt managed to do both, said Borelli.
Immelts job is protected by the GEs huge lobbying budget and his control of the NBC media empire. We believe that if Immelt wasnt buying protection though his access to the political elite and ordering good press from the NBC, he would have been the subject of public outrage and dismissed long ago, Borelli added.
The Five Worst Non-Financial-Crisis-Related CEOs of 2008 shared many of the following traits: (1) sought government regulation as a means of generating profits; (2) used shareholder assets to advance their personal politics and/or enhance their stature in elite social circles; and (3) ignored basic risk management regarding their business strategies.
The FEAOXs Five Worst Non-Financial-Crisis-Related CEOs are:
- Jeff Immelt of General Electric. Since taking over for famed GE CEO Jack Welsh, Immelt has consistently failed to deliver for shareholders. Under his leadership GE has underperformed the market in both bull and bear runs and his decision to work for the Iranian government damaged the reputation of the company.
- Bob Iger of the Walt Disney Company. Iger refuses to sell the DVD of the ABC miniseries The Path to 911 because it was controversial. Yet controversy did not stop Disney from making money from Michael Moores Fahrenheit 9/11. Thanks to Iger, millions of Americans attitudes about the 9/11 attack were shaped by Michael Moore while being denied the benefit of seeing The Path to 9/11.
- Jim Rogers of Duke Energy. Rogers is actively lobbying for so called cap-and-trade legislation to address global warming. Since this legislation adds significant costs to utilities like Duke that rely on coal burning for electricity, Rogers is putting the companys profitability at risk.
- Jim Mulva of ConocoPhillips. Mulva supports cap-and-trade legislation even though it would damage companys petroleum business. In addition, this legislation jeopardizes the companys investment in Canadian oil sands since this energy source emits three times the amount of greenhouse gases than traditional oil production.
- Andrew Liveris of Dow Chemical. Liveris is also supporting cap-and-trade despite the fact that the legislation would significantly increase the costs of petroleum and natural gas which Dow uses as raw materials. At the same time Liveris blames the U.S. for a failed energy policy and threatens to move jobs to countries like the Middle East China and Russia.
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