CEO: Scott G. McNealy
Tenure: 20 years
Total Shareholder Return*: -90.8%
Peer Index Return*: -26.2%
S&P 500 Index Return*: -18.9%
Total CEO Pay: $67 million*
Sun Microsystems CEO, chairman, and cofounder Scott McNealy likes to say it takes as long to unravel the hairball as it took to ravel it. That's certainly been true for McNealy himself: Though he's lauded for his straight talk and business smarts, his last five years have been a disaster. Sun's revenues and profits have plummeted, thanks in part to the bursting of the tech bubble and the adoption of the rival Linux operating system. But that hasn't stopped McNealy from collecting $67 million in options-fueled pay since 2000, including $7 million in fiscal 2004. Some see good news in the year-old Sun-Microsoft detente. We just see a big hairball, still raveled.
*Data from FactSet Research Systems for five years ending May 17, 2005.
A version of this article appeared in the July 2005 issue of Fast Company magazine.