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2014 Contenders

Reddit: Yishan Wong (CEO)

Posted by on Dec 30, 2014 in 2014 contender | 0 comments

Why this was a big quit: CEOs at most firms rarely quit for salary, Yishan Wong proved that money is not always why they join either. True to his fans, Wong provided insights into his role as Reddit’s first CEO through the site’s AMA, or “Ask Me Anything,” feature. Coming from PayPal and Facebook, Wong asked for a lower salary upon accepting the role at Reddit because he believed a high CEO salary was detrimental to the start-up culture. Wong grew Reddit to over 175 million monthly users, among the top 30 in the world, and raised $50 million...

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Fidelity Investments: Edward Johnson III (CEO)

Posted by on Dec 30, 2014 in 2014 contender | 0 comments

Why this was a big quit: You are doing something right to work at a company for 57 years, even if it was founded by your father. That is the story with Fidelity Investments and Johnson III, who grew the company from less than $4 billion into the $4.6 trillion globo-mega-corp it is today. Fidelity held steady in the face of economic instability, and with only two bad years from 2010-11, it rebounded strongly in 2013, and remains the 2nd largest company where people place their retirement account. Why this is not as big as our Top 10: Johnson...

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The Late Late Show: Craig Ferguson (Television Host)

Posted by on Dec 30, 2014 in 2014 contender | 0 comments

Why this was a big quit: Hey, you know that Scottish late night host? If you watch TV, that comedian (and naturalized American) is Craig Ferguson. The Emmy-nominated and Peabody Award-winning 12:35am host, developed a fervent fan base in his comedic niche for nearly 10 years. In its prime from 2007-2009, the show held its own against competing late night talk show giants. Universally acclaimed for original and unique approaches to the nearly 100 year old talk show format, Ferguson was respected and even interviewed by his competitors. Why...

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National Basketball Association: David Stern (Commissioner)

Posted by on Dec 30, 2014 in 2014 contender | 0 comments

Why this was a big quit: Stern was commissioner of the NBA for 30 years. He grew the US league with 7 new teams, and expanded internationallly. Currently, NBA games are televised in 215 countries and various contests are played overseas. He also instituted major salary cap restructuring, a widely supported dress code, and revenue sharing in the league. Why this is not as big as our Top 10: Stern’s run as commissioner was as equally successful as it was painful. He was commissioner during four lockouts, which impacted thousands of jobs. Many...

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SAP: Vishal Sikka (Chief Technology Officer)

Posted by on Dec 30, 2014 in 2014 contender | 0 comments

Why this was a big quit: Sikka worked at SAP for seven years and was their first Chief Technology Officer. He was also seen as a potential CEO candidate. Sikka was responsible for the data crunching tool HANA, which helps companies analyze enormous amounts of data quickly and efficiently.  Furthermore, he was in charge of SAP’s technology platform, cloud operations, partnerships, and customer co-innovation and development. Why this is not as big as our Top 10: Even though HANA was Sikka’s baby, there are many people at SAP who are familiar...

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US Department of Health and Human Services: Kathleen Sebelius (Secretary of Health and Human Services)

Posted by on Dec 30, 2014 in 2014 contender | 0 comments

Why this was a big quit: Regardless of political opinion, everyone knows Obamacare, the program Sebelius spearheaded. As Secretary of Health and Human Services for five years, Sebelius became a household name as the rocky rollout of the Affordable Healthcare Act came crashing down on her. She raised the ACA from birth and her departure once the program stabilized will not help it grow. Prior to that, she made significant contributions in her role, including overseeing the Swine Flu outbreak and advocating strongly for women’s health rights....

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Sprint: Dan Hesse (CEO)

Posted by on Dec 30, 2014 in 2014 contender | 0 comments

Why this was a big quit: Dan Hesse joined Sprint in 2007 and helped the company through the financial crisis. He leveraged a series of acquisitions and mergers, the most prominent being the merger with Nextel, to substantially expand user base and revenue. He won the Corporate Responsibility Magazine Lifetime Achievement Award in 2013 and Glassdoor named him among the highest-rated CEOs by employees in 2014. Why this is not as big as our Top 10: Being ranked the number 3 carrier when Hesse took over, Sprint still remains a distant third, and...

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New York Yankees: Derek Jeter (Baseball Player)

Posted by on Dec 30, 2014 in 2014 contender | 0 comments

Why this was a big quit: Five-time World Series champion. 14-time All-Star. 3465 career base hits. Only 27 other players in the history of Major League Baseball have more than 3000 hits. 24 of them are in the Hall of Fame. Jeter accomplished all of this while serving as the captain for baseball’s most storied team, the New York Yankees. He was one of the faces of baseball and a recognizable figure everywhere. Why this is not as big as our Top 10: While it is impossible to argue against Jeter’s career achievements, his and his team’s recent...

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US Department of Defense: Chuck Hagel (Secretary of Defense)

Posted by on Dec 30, 2014 in 2014 contender | 0 comments

Why this was a big quit: The United States of America boasts the most powerful and sophisticated military machine in the history of mankind. So when its Secretary of Defense quits, as Hagel did in November, it is a big deal, regardless of whyit happened. His resignation came on the heels of the loss of the Democratic majority in the Senate following the Midterm Elections. Why this is not as big as our Top 10: Hagel was hired for a different skill set than is now required to deal with the threat from dispersed radical terrorist groups. Hagel...

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Archer Daniels Midland: Patricia Woertz (CEO)

Posted by on Dec 30, 2014 in 2014 contender | 0 comments

Why this was a big quit: Woertz was with Archer Daniels Midland since 2006, and under her tenure the company’s revenues rose from $26 billion to $90 billion. She was one of 26 women who headed America’s top 500 companies in terms of revenue. In addition, she ranked number 8 on the Forbes Most Powerful Women List in 2014. Why this is not as big as our Top 10: This will be a highly orchestrated transition. Woertz will stay with Archer Daniels Midland until 2016. In the interim, she will serve as chairman until she retires. Despite the company...

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