Two called out as “worst” of 2006

The Business Week cover story is “Leaders*Products*Ideas: The Best and Worst of 2006” (December 18 issue). John Mackey of Whole Foods is cited for the “Biggest Reality Bite.” If that’s not bad enough, he’s photographed surrounded by a cadre of pecking hens and he doesn’t look into the camera’s eye. Why did he earn a “worst” citation? “This is the year” that Whole Foods “fell to earth.” The claim is that Mackey has not seen the Wal-Mart organic-foods push coming and isn’t prepared to meet it. And Michael Dell? The heading for him is “Worst Reaction Time.” He’s blamed for “a dive” in sales growth and margins along with much else said to be wrong. Do these two guys deserve to be cited as among the worst business leaders in the country? I wonder. They may just be suffering for their personal prominence and identification with the companies that they founded.

3 Comments so far

  1. Jerry Cunningham (unregistered) on December 12th, 2006 @ 5:17 am

    You are making a huge mistake if you think John Mackey is out of ideas to combat the likes of Walmart. Don’t bet your nest egg against this man, he is a winner and will be back on your “Best” list next year.

  2. RichardatDELL (unregistered) on December 14th, 2006 @ 1:04 pm

    On Michael and worst reaction time, once again Business Week is way off base. The leadership here is on top the market changes and has been working hard on plans that move us forward.

    Dell’s direct model of business has been crucial to our being in front of all the business challenges — any other company would still be trying to figure it out.

    Why is it that competitors are still looking to cut costs and Dell is investing for the future? Dell is hiring more engineers and technical support staff; we are the fastest growing in some of the most crucial growth markets of the future, while maintaining our strength in the key US market.

    No business experiences a completely linear progression. Dell has been through challenges before and always emerged stronger. This situation is no different.

    Michael and Kevin at the helm help keep us in great shpae

  3. Steve (unregistered) on December 18th, 2006 @ 4:12 pm

    I have a feeling that Dell’s demise is mostly due to two factors.

    The first is a decline in quality of technical support. I have heard many bad things about it lately.

    Secondly, there is revived interest in Apple’s products with the new Intel chips. As more people get comfortable with iPod’s and other offerings from Apple, expect more iMacs and MacBooks to fly off the shelves.

    Just one man’s opinion.

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