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Which Tech CEO would you fire?

Posted on 7th May 2009 at 11:36 by Alex Watson with 30 comments

Alex Watson
It’s time for a bit of debate here on the bit-tech blog, and I’d like your input. It’s a simple question that I am proposing: if you had the power, which CEO of a tech firm would you send packing?

In the course of reviewing the hundreds of components, peripherals, PCs and laptops that pass through our labs every year, there are always a few that are so staggeringly bad that they make you wonder quite what the company responsible is up to. Of course, in the big companies that dominate the tech world, the CEO is rarely directly involved in product design (unless we’re talking about Apple, where Steve Jobs is so involved he even gets his name on product design patents), but the CEO is, as the saying goes, the place where the buck stops.

Sometimes it’s not one particular crap product that makes you wonder what on earth a certain company is doing, but rather actions in the courts, or ad campaigns or quotes in interviews, product pricing or even customer service. These strategic decisions are much more directly connected to the CEO (and if they’re not, then the CEO is still dreadful because he’s not in control).

Which Tech CEO would you fire? *Which Tech CEO would you fire?

Of course, given the current economic climate a lot of companies are going through tough times (EA being the latest to announce a big loss) which aren’t necessarily down to incompetent leadership, but I still think that if tech CEOs were transposed to an episode of The Apprentice, Sir Alan Sugar (aka "Yes surallan") would be sending more than one over to BBC2 to commiserate with Adrian Chiles about how they were a massive loss to the man behind Amstrad.

I do have my own ideas as to who should be out, but for the time being I'm interested in hearing from you guys. Let me know who you think deserves the boot, and I’ll revisit this post in a week’s time to review your suggestions and add my own.

30 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
Hugo 7th May 2009, 12:03 Quote
All of them :D let's start afresh.
liratheal 7th May 2009, 12:40 Quote
Any that can't think of two reasons for declining sales without mentioning piracy.
Paradigm Shifter 7th May 2009, 13:02 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by liratheal
Any that can't think of two reasons for declining sales without mentioning piracy.

Totally.

Although lets face it - no one is going to admit they're overpricing their products or marketing poor quality items that haven't gone through sufficient QA. (For example).
Turbotab 7th May 2009, 13:12 Quote
Those CEOs who devised the inkjet pricing model, replacement cartridges, how much?
Xtrafresh 7th May 2009, 13:19 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by liratheal
Any that can't think of two reasons for declining sales without mentioning piracy.
QFT

Also, the guys over at jmicron, for almost singlehandedly killing off all enthousiast buzz over SSDs.
Then there's Intel, for trying to block both AMD and nVidia from making any technological progress with petty lawsuits. And what the hell are they thinking giving i5 and i7 their own platform each?
sear 7th May 2009, 15:20 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Turbotab
Those CEOs who devised the inkjet pricing model, replacement cartridges, how much?
Oh god, this. The cartridges are practically more expensive than the printers, and the software purposely tells you ink is low even though the things are still half-full just so you go and buy more than you need. ****ing assholes. It's way cheaper to buy the ink yourself and refill the ones you already have.
Jamie 7th May 2009, 16:12 Quote
Steve Ballmer for charging for Xbox Live Gold membership - it is free to play games online on rival consoles.
badders 7th May 2009, 16:15 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by sear
Oh god, this. The cartridges are practically more expensive than the printers, and the software purposely tells you ink is low even though the things are still half-full just so you go and buy more than you need. ****ing assholes. It's way cheaper to buy the ink yourself and refill the ones you already have.

Every Inkjet I've owned has been cheaper to replace the whole printer than to buy ink cartridges for it.

<3 My Colour Laser.
FeRaL 7th May 2009, 16:16 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by sear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Turbotab
Those CEOs who devised the inkjet pricing model, replacement cartridges, how much?
Oh god, this. The cartridges are practically more expensive than the printers, and the software purposely tells you ink is low even though the things are still half-full just so you go and buy more than you need. ****ing assholes. It's way cheaper to buy the ink yourself and refill the ones you already have.

LOL, QFT... When my printer starts printing like it's low on ink, I start looking on slickdeals.net and other forums like it and try to find a comparable printer that is on-sale/rebate as I can usually buy a comparable model for about the price of a whole set of ink cartridges...
Skiddywinks 7th May 2009, 16:28 Quote
Only the CEO? I'd fire everyone from Sony that ever released a statement with anything to do with the PS3 or any other console this generation.
Pieface 7th May 2009, 16:36 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamie
Steve Ballmer for charging for Xbox Live Gold membership - it is free to play games online on rival consoles.

And? You're not forced to pay... What's the price for a 360 now anyway? about 150.00 for a premium, and a PS3 about 280.00.
Sifter3000 7th May 2009, 18:40 Quote
TBH, I think there's plenty of reasons you could have Ballmer on there.

Zune, the money MS has wasted on search, Vista, and those videos on YouTube for starters. And then there's the RROD on Xbox...
Turbotab 7th May 2009, 18:43 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sifter3000
TBH, I think there's plenty of reasons you could have Ballmer on there.

Zune, the money MS has wasted on search, Vista, and those videos on YouTube for starters. And then there's the RROD on Xbox...

The fact he became a billionaire from having the right roomate
Jordan Wise 7th May 2009, 19:39 Quote
Steve Jobs. Smug t***
Red 5 7th May 2009, 21:55 Quote
I'd like to fire Sugar himself, but I don't know if he's still in the tech business. I just don't like the guy.
Elton 8th May 2009, 00:08 Quote
All the DRM waving CEOs.

EA and Epic for being crappy companies now, and killing series.

Ballmer isn't that bad, he's just like Jobs, utterly senile.

I'd also fire all of the Execs at Chrysler, GM and Ford. But they're not in Tech.
thehippoz 8th May 2009, 05:15 Quote
hector ruiz of amd.. he ran that company into the ground last few years- ex.. the tri core fiasco because of yields.. I mean intel, you might hate em, but they were actually competing with themselves for awhile.. more than you can say for milk mustache nvidia :D
yakyb 8th May 2009, 08:28 Quote
ruiz stepped down a while ago

and EA appear to be making strides towards improving

personnally i would fire none of them all of teh companies have had some fairly major shakeups recently (those that needed them)

if it would have to be anyone i would ask Via's WenChi Chen to step down. i just think they havnt made the progress they could have done in the last 3 years with the adoption of netbooks and low power computing
Sifter3000 8th May 2009, 10:45 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by yakyb
if it would have to be anyone i would ask Via's WenChi Chen to step down. i just think they havnt made the progress they could have done in the last 3 years with the adoption of netbooks and low power computing

Excellent suggestion.

Surprised no-one has yet said...

Jen-Hsun from Nvidia?
Sim Wong Hoo from Creative?
Sir Howard Stringer from Sony?

Any thoughts on those guys?
xaser04 8th May 2009, 11:15 Quote
Not a CEO but the muppets at Nvidia who keep allowing the card name changes (9800GTX+ to GTS250 etc).

Also the Nvidia muppet who is in charge of the mobile division. Seriously sort out the naming scheme already (its worse than the desktop lineup which despite being confusing ,sort of makes sense).
isaac12345 8th May 2009, 12:26 Quote
the guys in charge of securom. those guys have caused more harm than good to the industry
Claave 8th May 2009, 13:53 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sifter3000
Excellent suggestion.

Surprised no-one has yet said...

Jen-Hsun from Nvidia?
Sim Wong Hoo from Creative?
Sir Howard Stringer from Sony?

Any thoughts on those guys?

Any thoughts from those guys? :D
thehippoz 8th May 2009, 16:59 Quote
creative.. oh god lol well since they got away with selling crap all these years- they must have had that apple spell on people.. jen is a milker- I wouldn't fire him though, I'm sure he's got enough issues right now to deal with.. suki suki time is over..

sony and the ps3.. it's hard to say- the peeps with ps3's love them.. business end- micheal jackson I don't think I need to say anymore.. amd's ruiz was one of the worst ceo's in history though.. oh yeah I'd fire comcasts ceo just because- they came up on at&t's back.. like a weasel backstabbing a giant.. at&t's dishnetwork the leg is cocked back- with boots soon to be brown! :D
Elton 9th May 2009, 01:59 Quote
I do want to fire TW and Comcast's CEO though, they've been milking broadband for way too long.

Jen shouldn't be fired although he did make the renaming craze. Why? Because Nvidia has still made some progress.

Thank god Ruiz left too.
mp3manager 9th May 2009, 04:01 Quote
Tom Rogers, CEO of TiVo

A great product wasted by completely clueless management.

If he was in charge of KFC, he would probably market it as lukewarm , greasy dead bird.
bilbothebaggins 9th May 2009, 14:03 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Elton
...
I'd also fire all of the Execs at Chrysler, GM and Ford. But they're not in Tech.
Haha. What does it tell when we call a car company 'not in tech' ... ;)
Chocobollz 10th May 2009, 13:22 Quote
I will certainly vote for Jen-Hsun Huang to be the next CEO to get replaced. Damn I'm getting bored with his attitude, badmouthing another company.
tejas 11th May 2009, 00:45 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chocobollz
I will certainly vote for Jen-Hsun Huang to be the next CEO to get replaced. Damn I'm getting bored with his attitude, badmouthing another company.

Just as well that you have no power to get rid of Jen-Hsun who I think is an excellent CEO. Blame the rebranding issues on the marketing depts. So he badmouthed Intel...SO WHAT?

Are you trying to tell me that Intel has never slandered AMD or their x86 rivals?? How about AMD slagging off Nvidia over GPUs. Its business and it happens...Get over it ...sheesh

Remember to give balance to your biased arguments...
Major 11th May 2009, 01:49 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pieface
And? You're not forced to pay... What's the price for a 360 now anyway? about 150.00 for a premium, and a PS3 about 280.00.

You lost the arguement already. ;)

You can't compare like that, I don't see a BR player on that 360... Gone for a walk?
liratheal 11th May 2009, 09:36 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Major
You lost the arguement already. ;)

You can't compare like that, I don't see a BR player on that 360... Gone for a walk?

Yes, because Battle Royale Blu-Ray is a very big feature for playing games.. Oh, wait. No. It's not. HD movies, perhaps, but talking about games? Utterly irrelevant.
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