No one had heard of Martin Shkreli before September of 2015. It wasn’t until he formed Turing Pharmaceuticals and bought the license for the antimalarial drug Daraprim that people really began to take any notice of him.
Almost as soon as he acquired the license, he announced that Daraprim, which previously cost $13.50 USD per pill (maybe a small sum to us, but a huge amount of money for someone with malaria in sub-Saharan Africa), would be increased in price 5,500%, to $750 USD per pill. The controversy around the price hike lasted months, until he was arrested for securities fraud by the FBI. People gleefully shared photos of him in handcuffs, celebrating as an evil CEO was brought to justice.
Even though Shkreli is the most recent recipient of the internet’s righteous fury, there are plenty of other CEOs just as evil as he is – and worse. Shkreli inflated the price of essential medicine, but there are tons of other men who took advantage of their employees or defrauded the government and earned a special place on this list as well.
Hermann von Siemens: CEO of Siemans Company
Hermann von Siemens was the grandson of Werner von Siemens, who founded the Siemens Company in 1847. Hermann took over as chairman in 1941, and encouraged innovations in telecommunication technology that were eventually developed into the Telex system. This system made the Siemens company a household name worldwide.
Even though he took the company to new and exciting heights, von Siemen’s horrific behaviour during WWII cast a shadow on all of his successes. In 1946, von Siemens acknowledged that the company used forced labor from two separate Nazi concentration camps to manufacture its products. Although he claims the workers were never ill-treated, his statement seems like an obvious and pathetic attempt to cover up his crimes.