Lists of the best bosses are good, but what about the 50 worst?

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Earlier this month, a UK managing director had an email with one of his clients that left the woman stunned.

This man is not a famous moaner, like Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary, who once said that the idea that the customer was always right was “crap”.

Nor is he making the news like James Watt, co-founder of craft beer group BrewDog, who pledged to listen and learn last week after dozens of former staff wrote a letter. open claiming that the company was plagued by “toxic attitudes” and had a “rotten culture”.

His name is James Price and he runs a company he founded called Everything Genetic, which is one of the providers of Covid testing the UK government lists for arriving travelers who need to prove they can safely exit quarantine. security.

The email dusting started when a friend of mine who had flown to London from overseas wrote to her asking for a refund because the test results she ordered from her company didn’t had not arrived on time.

Mr. Price responded to say that to his knowledge his company had met its advertised turnaround times and if he paid a refund there would be no test results.

My friend, fearing that this would mean she would be trapped at home even longer, protested vigorously. She said she needed the result and that a refund would encourage customer loyalty, to which Mr. Price told her bluntly, “We prefer to have loyal customers who understand what they are buying.”

He finally gave in when shown what a member of his staff told him when his results were ready. Conceding that she had received incorrect customer service information, he offered both the refund and the results of her tests, but it was too late.

My friend, a former senior executive, told me that she found her demeanor so demeaning that she would never use her business again.

Mr. Price later told me he was sorry for any poor service, including his responses to customer complaints, which would now be handled by other members of the company.

But it occurred to him last week when an annual list of “top CEOs” came out, this time from Glassdoor, the career site where employees can post anonymous reviews about their companies.

The list ranked bosses in the US, UK, Canada, France and Germany through the tough 12 months through May of this year, using an internal scoring system that measures the quality, quantity and consistency of reviews.

Among his most notable findings: Microsoft’s Satya Nadella is listed in every country except France, which takes time, according to Glassdoor.

Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg failed to make America’s Top 100 list for the first time since the rankings began in 2013, when he was ranked number one, which is quite an achievement, too.

Other CEOs who were on the lists of three countries were Marc Benioff of Salesforce; James Gorman of Morgan Stanley and Guillaume Faury of Airbus.

This is all interesting, as are the reasons given by employees to rate these bosses so highly. They not only offered a living wage, good benefits and career progression, many also earned points for their flexible or remote work offer.

This is all good to know. Still, my friend’s experience reminded me that it might also be good to have a reliable list of the worst CEOs. Wouldn’t that offer a more useful guide for potential employees, clients, and investors, especially when it comes to smaller, less scrutinized businesses? I know a few people have tried such things over the years, but no one with the weight of Glassdoor. When I asked the site if they had ever considered such a list, a spokesperson said no. “We prefer to look at best practices and those that are working well. “

He pointed out that CEOs get a Glassdoor rating based on cumulative reviews – as opposed to one for the most recent year – and those can be informative.

Ryanair’s O’Leary scores just 43 percent, well below the site’s CEO average score of 73 percent. BrewDog’s Watt comes in at just 52%.

That’s great, but if the site ever comes up with an annual ranking of the worst CEOs, I know I won’t be the only one wanting to read it.

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Twitter: @pilitaclark


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