Sydney Finkelstein, an author and professor at Dartmouth College Tuck School of Business, has named his picks for the worst CEOs of 2012, and ex-Best Buy chief executive Brian Dunn topped the list. Dunn retired in April but still managed to earn the worst CEO of the year title.

Dunn “resigned as chief executive of Best Buy in April after allegations surfaced that he had an inappropriate relationship with a much younger subordinate. That’s not why he’s on the list, though. Declining stock price, cratering same-store sales, loss of market share to more nimble competitors, and an addiction to share buybacks that cost the company $6.4 billion with little to show for it — that’s why he’s on the list.”  Source: Bloomberg Businessweek

You know you’re having a bad year when a highly publicized affair, on its own, doesn’t earn you the worst CEO of the year title. The other CEOs who made the list include Aubrey McClendon (Chesapeake Energy), Andrea Jung (Avon), Mark Pincus (Zynga) and Rodrigo Rato (Bankia).

When I saw that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg narrowly avoided inclusion on this year’s list, I had to chuckle. He was in the running not only for the company’s less than stellar IPO and subsequent dwindling stock price but also for his “massive ego.”  

Sure, Zuckerberg looks like he has a bit of an ego but honestly, it takes some egotistical behavior to build a company the size of Facebook over the course of a few short years. Perhaps his ego is both a blessing and a curse.

Which executives would you add to the list of worst CEOs of 2012?

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