20 Terrible CEOs Who Got Rich Despite Their Incompetence

Every day, we watch people who really shouldn’t be holding power making decision for large companies, which affect millions of their staff and customers.

These rich CEOs who headed major companies made horrifically stupid decision which cost them their jobs and reputation — although not their wealth. Here are a few of the worst CEOs who got rich despite their incompetence.

1. Jonathan Schwartz of Sun Microsystems

Jonathan Schwartz’s first mistake came when he decided to acquire MySQL AB to bolster his company, Sun Microsystems. This plan simply didn’t work. Then he tried to improve his company’s Java software, but the problem was it was free, and Schwartz never figured out how his company could monetize it. Sun Microsystems tanked, and had to lay off 18% of its staff.

2. Ken Lay of Enron

Most people thought that Enron was destined for greatness, after its meteoric rise on Wall Street starting in 1996. What a lot of people didn’t realize at the time was that CEO Ken Lay was actively inflating the company’s actual worth, which led to charges of securities fraud being filed against him in 2006.

Public Domain

Public Domain

3. Chuck Conaway of Kmart

Chuck Conaway was hired as a last-minute fixer for the suffering Kmart Corporation in 2000, and stockholders were hoping that his business savvy would be enough to save the sinking company, which had already lost most of its business to Walmart. Unfortunately, all Conaway did was hide financial issues that already existed, and cover up the ones he caused himself.

ChameleonsEye / Shutterstock.com

ChameleonsEye / Shutterstock.com

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