Tenure: 1 year, 4 months
Gil Amelio joined Apple’s board of directors in 1994. At the time, the company was a shell of its former self and the public perception was the company’s best days were behind it. Nonetheless, Amelio left his position at National Semiconductor and became Apple’s CEO on Feb. 2, 1996.
Apple stock had already been on the decline when Amelio assumed control of the company, but under his watch it reached its lowest point in 12 years. This decline was no fault of Amelio’s. It was caused in large part by a single, anonymous party who had sold 1.5 million shares all at once — and who was later revealed to be none other than former Apple CEO Steve Jobs.
After the stock price had plummeted, Jobs had no trouble convincing the board of directors to let Amelio go, and he was out after 16 turbulent months at the top. Jobs became CEO that September.