CEO See-Ya! Anniversary Special!

How are five bosses faring a year after we said they should get the boot?

It's been a year since we told five big-company CEOs to take a hike ("CEOs Who Should Lose Their Jobs," October 2003). So what happened? One of them bolted just as our article appeared — but the rest are still glued to their custom leather seats. Let's see how they've fared.

Patrick Ryan

AON

  • Tenure: 22 years
  • Total Shareholder Return: -18.8%
  • Peer Return: 43.5%
  • S&P 500 Index Return: -15.8%
  • Total Pay: $16.8 million
  • Total Shareholder Return: 18.1%
  • Peer Return: -8.8%
  • S&P 500 Index Return: 10.4%

Aon's stock rebounded thanks to a new CFO's latest reorg and cost cutting. But second-quarter 2004 results showed slower-than-expected revenue growth, prompting a sell-off. Margins are far below rivals', and one analyst says Aon could "miss the benefits of the tightest commercial insurance market on record." Could Ryan's reign finally be ending?

Peter Karmanos Jr.

Compuware

  • Tenure: 17 years
  • Total Shareholder Return: -80.6%
  • Peer Return: -44.5%
  • S&P 500 Index Return: -15.8%
  • Total Pay: $11.9 million
  • Total Shareholder Return: 1.2%
  • Peer Return: 0.3%
  • S&P 500 Index Return: 10.4%

Compuware's stock tanked when second-quarter earnings missed expectations — just after Karmanos said the quarter was "tracking ahead of last year." Despite two big acquisitions, the company hasn't stopped its revenue slide. Even Karmanos's decision to cut pay — including his own — and bag the company's holiday gift of cashews hasn't soothed investors.

Ed Zander

Motorola

  • Tenure: 10 months
  • Total Shareholder Return: -46.0%
  • Peer Return: 32.9%
  • S&P 500 Index Return: -15.8%
  • Total Pay: NA
  • Total Shareholder Return: 66.8%
  • Peer Return: 67.3%
  • S&P 500 Index Return: 10.4%

Motorola has been on a tear; we'd like to think it's because former CEO Chris Galvin took our hint and quit. Shares shot up on hopes that former Sun Microsystems president Zander has the right stuff. He has overseen the spin-off of Motorola's semiconductor unit and wants warring factions to collaborate. An old tax bill may dent profits, but margins are up.

Robert Waltrip

Service Corporation Intl.

  • Tenure: 42 years
  • Total Shareholder Return: -56.9%
  • Peer Return: -48.2%
  • S&P 500 Index Return: -15.8%
  • Total Pay: $10.6 million
  • Total Shareholder Return: 58.5%
  • Peer Return: 65.3%
  • S&P 500 Index Return: 10.4%

SCI appears to have returned from the dead. Profits and revenue rose last year and in the first quarter of 2004, and the funeral-services company started paring debt as well. SCI credits the rebound in part to its Dignity Memorial Funeral and Cremation Package, which costs a lot more than a pine box. After all, who'd want to meet their maker without dignity?

Michael Eisner

Walt Disney

  • Tenure: 20 years
  • Total Shareholder Return: -8.3%
  • Peer Return: -12.4%
  • S&P 500 Index Return: -15.8%
  • Total Pay: $137.8 million
  • Total Shareholder Return: 3.7%
  • Peer Return: -17.4%
  • S&P 500 Index Return: 10.4%

For a while, it looked as if Eisner had met his match. Two directors resigned and campaigned against him. Comcast bid for the company, and at a tense shareholders meeting Eisner was stripped of his chairmanship. Then his lucrative partnership with Pixar blew up. But Comcast since went away and operating income jumped in three of four segments. Rally time?

Source: FactSet Research Systems, eComp Data Services, and Glass, Lewis & Co. Compounded total return with dividends reinvested. Shareholder returns for periods ending August 10, 2004. Five-year pay includes salary, bonus, stock-option exercises, and all other compensation, excluding value of options granted.

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