GO
Loading...

Should Abercrombie’s CEO be year’s worst?

Every year around this time I take nominations for the year's worst CEO.

Perhaps the biggest surprise: In the weeks I've been seeking nominations on social media, and even today with a story on TheStreet.com, nobody has mentioned Michael Jeffries, the embattled CEO of Abercrombie & Fitch.

Abercrombie announced today that Jeffries' contract was extended for a year, with some tinkering on the long-term compensation part of his deal.

That got me kicking some tires, and I was stunned to discover how poorly Abercrombie's stock has performed with Jeffries running the show.

(Read more: Abercrombie extends CEO contract despite weak sales)

Since its early trading in 1996, Abercrombie has barely beaten the S&P 500. It has dramatically trailed the index over the past one-, three- and five-year marks.

Abercrombie & Fitch CEO Michael Jeffries in a 2009 photo
Mark Lennihan | AP
Abercrombie & Fitch CEO Michael Jeffries in a 2009 photo

The past year, in particular, has been an abomination, leading activist firm Engaged Capital to demand his ouster.

The company responded with the contract extension.

Well, if nobody else is going to nominate him as the year's worst CEO, I will.

(Watch: Retail investor quite bullish: Pro)

I believe a look at the company's quarterly growth, adjusted for the last 12 months—which smooths the peaks and valleys and gives him the benefit of the doubt—tells the story: negative 1 percent last quarter, compared with growth of 9.9 percent a year earlier and 22.2 percent two years ago.

Right now he looks like a shoo-in to win (or lose, depending on your perspective) this year's contest.

—CNBC Contributor Herb Greenberg is a commentator at TheStreet.com and editor of Herb Greenberg's Reality Check. Follow him on Twitter: @herbgreenberg and Google.

Symbol
Price
 
Change
%Change
ANF
---

Featured

Contact Commentary

  • CNBC will consider commentary on a variety of topics, including investing, Wall Street, politics, international affairs, the Federal Reserve, health care, technology, careers, entertainment and more. We want a variety of viewpoints – especially those that are different from something you’ve read on CNBC.com.

    Send op-ed pitches to commentary@cnbc.com. Put the words OP-ED in the subject. Articles should be between 600 and 700 words. All submissions must be exclusive to CNBC.com. Please also include a 1-2 sentence bio of the author and a Twitter handle for the author or company. Please remember these are opinions and should be in your own voice, not in the voice of your PR person or in-house legal consultant!

    We apologize that due to the volume of submissions, we may not be able to respond to every email. If we have not responded within 5 business days, please feel free to submit the op-ed to another publication.

    Who is the commentary editor?
    Cindy Perman is the commentary editor for CNBC.com. She has worked in online news for more than a decade. She also writes the "There Must be a Pony in Here Somewhere" blog and is the author of the book “New York Curiosities” (2013, 2nd edition). Follow her on Twitter @CindyPerman.