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The Worst CEOs of 2012?

It’s way too early to determine which CEOs will make my annual Worst CEO list, but with three from last year’s list already kicked out of their jobs, the hunt is on.

I think it’s important to distinguish between CEOs of businesses with models that appear to be in endless decline regardless of who is in charge and those whose bungled judgment, strategies and management style have put the company in peril. And, yes, as Nokia shows, sometimes the two can overlap.

Before we get into this year’s candidates, let’s review the casualties from last year’s list: Brian Dunn of Best Buy, Research in Motion’s Jim Balsillie and Michael Lazaridis, and Andrea Jung of Avon. Jung officially leaves her post on April 23.

That leaves Antonio Perez of Eastman Kodak — who can claim the remarkable achievement of keeping his job even after taking the company into bankruptcy — and Reed Hastings of Netflix as the only survivors from last year’s list. Unless Hastings somehow screws up worse than last year, which I can’t imagine will happen, I believe his job is safe.

So, who has the best chance of being named Worst CEO of 2012? Click ahead to see who is in the running.

Video: Herb's Worst CEOs

By Herb Greenberg
Posted 12 April 2012