Trump could be the first president in US history to be impeached by the house and still seek another term in the next election, however where his predecessors, Nixon, Clinton and Johnson, have recognized that it’s often difficult to bounce back after a scandal, Trump has managed to skirt around so many issues that his confidence is unwavering.
Unlike Trump, the business world is recognizing the harmful effects of wayward leaders and just as many Republicans believe the President has done irreparable harm to their party, investors are attempting to cut out the rot from the root before the damage is done.
Due to this, over the past couple of years, the untouchable nature of CEO’s has dropped drastically, with many being forced out. According to PwC, a record number of CEO’s were replaced last year, many more due to ethical lapses than poor financial performance, as boards want to be seen to clamp down on misconduct as #MeToo gains traction. Papa Johns, The Weinstein Company, Samsung and American Apparel have all ousted their leaders due to unacceptable behavior, which ranged from racist comments, to embezzlement, to sexual harassment, with AA’s Dov Charney admitting, “my biggest weakness is me. I mean lock me up already”.
Despite having several complaints leveraged against him over the years, it wasn’t until 2014 that Charney was eventually ousted. In majority, this is due to the feeling, even amongst those who otherwise abhorred him, that American Apparels success was 100% due to his hard-work and boundary-pushing marketing vision.
This reasoning however, is no longer acceptable to the consumer, as customers want to know their products and services are coming from a fairly run company with standards and morals, meaning, even companies which replace controversial CEOs, have come under fire for the large severance packages they’ve been offering.
CBS have been attempting to avoid a public relations scandal over the past two years by denying former Chief Executive, Leslie Moonves, the $120 million severance he has now taken them to arbitration for. The boards unequivocal rejection of Moonves’ demands have meant that despite other claims of harassment at the company, they have been able to retain public support. Something WeWork has failed to do over the past year.
With Founder and CEO, Adam Neumann, running the company into the ground via a series of bad decisions and slip-ups, one of which even included dangerous levels of formaldehyde in phone booths, WeWork has been hitting the press again and again this year. However, despite reports of quality drops, drug-fueled parties and revenue losses, the vast majority of public-anger towards the company stems from the fact that despite 2,000 job losses, Neumann is receiving an unprecedented pay-out of $1.7billion from the company’s biggest investor, SoftBank.
It’s clear that SoftBank want to be seen to do something and do it quickly, however with such a large sum has come the public feeling that Neumann is being rewarded for his failures, leaving an even worse taste in the mouths of the members.