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17. Bob Nardelli

Nardelli was fired from Home Depot after losing market share, alienating executives, downplaying customer service, and refusing to cut his fat pay package. He was then hired by the private equity group Cerberus, which put him in charge of its struggling Chrysler unit. There, he took billions in government aid, only to face an ultimatum: Merge or face certain liquidation.

THE STAT: Nardelli’s Home Depot exit package of $210 million was regarded as one of the largest ever.

Chrysler Company Website

By Portfolio.com