In the world of business, when a company shows less-than-expected growth, declining sales or even a colossal misstep, someone has to pay. In many cases, the sacrificial lamb comes in the form of a company’s CEO — the move is usually an attempt to please shareholders and hold someone publicly accountable for what’s going on. Other times, though, shareholders are able to dig a bit deeper and hand responsibility to CEOs to clean house. When this happens, the axe will fall on lower-ranking executives.
Previously, we’ve taken a look at problems with executive compensation models and even CEOs who should think about returning their bonus checks. While these are two factors that can weigh down businesses, a lot of times there is internal strife, criminal wrongdoing or simple incompetence to blame for weak performance. These things can spread responsibility around a company, causing investigations and mass firings of not just low-ranking employees but of executives with a lot of standing and clout.
There are several examples of executive teams taking the fall for their companies, and several high-profile cases that have happened very recently. They span industries, occur in companies big and small, and cross international borders. Each case serves as a warning to employees of all rank that their job is not always secure, no matter how far up the ladder they’ve made it.
Read on to see six examples of companies that have recently placed members of their executive teams under the guillotine.