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.
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.