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12. Bob Allen

Bob Allen misjudged where the telecom industry was going. He forced a disastrous merger with computer company NCR Corp. and allowed AT&T to wither under his lack of strategic direction. In 1997, after AT&T lost more than $12 billion in a few months, Time called the company a “monolithic screwup.”

THE STAT: To stem the company’s losses on his watch, Allen had to lay off 50,000 AT&T employees.

AT&T Company Website

By Portfolio.com