Battley: Top Turnaround CEOs of 2012
This year's business newsmakers included a number of "Turnaround CEOs."
Here is my 2012 round-up of corporate leaders in high-stakes rescue, restructuring and reinvention roles.
Four of the seven listed are first-time CEOs.
Several replaced chief executives who had failed to turn around their companies fast enough.
Robert Benmosche, AIG
Benmosche, 68, former head of Met Life, came out of retirement to became chief executive of AIG in 2009. He has been busy ever since trying to restore the health and reputation of a firm tarnished by its near collapse. He recently achieved what many thought was next to impossible: the US Treasury exiting its stake in the company with a $22.7 billion profit four years after its $182 billion bailout.
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Turnarounds Under Way
Ron Johnson, JC Penney
Retail iconoclast Johnson is wrapping up year one of his four-year reinvention plan for the 110-year Penney's. The company, which was experiencing a sales and product quality decline before he joined in 2011, has seen its stock price nose-dive this year by more than 50 percent. His strategy involves transforming selling floors into shop-in-shops with popular branded merchandise. He has also introduced a controversial "fair-and- square" pricing model. He expects to start seeing business results of his retail reinvention in 2013.
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Thorstein Heins, Research in Motion
Heins took over RIM, the maker of Blackberry devices, last January. After bringing in a new management team, he made a critical decision to continue investment in RIM's own operating system rather than adopt the Android system. Blackberry 10, which Heins views as the company's platform for the next decade of mobile computing, launches in late January 2013. This all-important debut will be the first real test of his ability to deliver.
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Sherilyn McCoy, Avon
McCoy joined Avon in April, after losing her bid for the top spot at Johnson & Johnson. She immediately faced a daunting fix-it list that included an eroded share price, settling a bribery probe, and tackling underperforming markets in Asia. Then she had to fend off a takeover by Coty. For starters, she brought in a new executive team. Recently, the company announced it is pulling out of the South Korea and Vietnam markets and cutting 1,500 jobs worldwide in an effort to stabilize their business. Her makeover of Avon is in the early stage.
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