2019 has not been an easy year for the CEOs with many of them resigning or forced to leave. Here, we look at the top 10 controversial CEO exits in 2019 that dominated the headlines for not so right reasons.
- Hiroto Saikawa – Former CEO, Nissan Motors
Hiroto Saikawa had to step down from his post after admitting to being overpaid by an equity-linked remuneration scheme. Saikawa resigned after internal investigations revealed falsified documents that boosted his compensation.
- Harald Krueger – Former CEO, BMW
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Krueger quit after four years as the automobile giant’s CEO and after serving three decades with the company. He was often criticized for his failure to move more aggressively in developing new models in the BMW electric vehicle series.
- Rupert Hogg – Former CEO, Cathay Pacific Airways
Rupert Hogg shockingly resigned amid pressure from the Chinese government over the involvement of its employees in Hong Kong’s anti-government protests.
- Kevin Burns – Former CEO, Juul Labs
Kevin, who led the e-cigarette startup, stepped down after the emergence of vaping-related deaths and a possible ban in multiple states in the US. Juul was also accused of targeting vaping devices at children.
- Adam Neumann – Former CEO, WeWork
The co-founder of the commercial real estate company was reportedly pressured to resign after questions were raised over corporate governance and mounting losses.
- David Wenig – Former CEO, eBay
David Wenig left EBay after openly admitting of differences with the new board, as they decided to pursue with the potential sale of assets.
- Kevin Tsujihara – Former CEO, Warner Bros
Kevin resigned in March 2019 after reports came out in the media that WarnerMedia was investigating allegations that Tsujihara had promised auditions and acting jobs to British actress Charlotte Kirk in return for sex.
- Richard Plepler – Former CEO, HBO
Richard Plepler left HBO after 28 years of tenure due to the alleged lack of autonomy after the company was taken over by AT&T.
- Timothy Sloan – Former CEO, Wells Fargo
Timothy Sloan had to step down abruptly over the bank’s last few years of scandals and government pressure. As a parting statement, Sloan said that is has “become apparent to him” that the company cannot move forward under his leadership.
- John Flint – Former CEO, HSBC
Flint exited the HSBC after serving for 18 months as the CEO. The board was at odds with Flint over his focus on allocating resources to the China region. Flint also lost the confidence of his staff with an internal survey revealing that employees were dissatisfied with his leadership.