Bad CEO, or an industry hiding under a rock

Patrick Byrne, the CEO of, just received an honorable mention as worst exec of the year. At first glance, Byrne’s “nutty” reputation may lead folks to believe it is all his fault the company is having so many problems. Is this the “chicken or the egg” dilemma lingering in the retail industry?

When I say “chicken or the egg,” I mean is it Byrne’s personality ruining his retail business, or the retail business getting the best of him? I don’t know Patrick Byrne, nor am I an investor in his company, so I just cannot comment on the man. But one of the posts in the above link clued me in:

“I think your problem with the big O is endemic with retailers in general. Retailers no longer have the drive or care about customer service or even have the fear of the BBB that they once had.”

Retailing has become hyper-competitive, mostly geared to price, and you have to keep in mind that Overstock was putting in a new CRM app when their big troubles arose.

It doesn’t matter how good the captain is – if you are caught in the perfect storm, the ship is going to sink.

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