5 Big Tech Industry CEOs That Caused An Uproar


When you're the head of a major company in IT, everyone is watching. When you're a CEO, you're subject to heavy criticism whether you exercise poor judgment, make a bad decision or offer a politically incorrect (or even sexist) comment. In some cases, CEOs have been entirely inappropriate in their seats and been forced to walk away from their jobs for alleged wrongful behavior.

In the wake of Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella's recent comments on women seeking raises, here are a few major gaffes and scandals CEOs have made across the IT industry over the years.

Microsoft's Satya Nadella Discourages Women From Seeking Pay Increases

Satya Nadella this week publicly advised women to stay silent on seeking pay increases at their jobs, referencing "karma" and stating women who work hard will receive rewards eventually. Industry data doesn't coincide with those statements, and women across the channel took grave offense to the comments. Nadella made a public retraction shortly following the remarks.

Mozilla CEO Openly Opposes Gay Rights

Former Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich stepped down in April after just one month of employment with the company best known for its Firefox browser after it became public he donated $1,000 in 2008 to support California's anti-gay marriage law Proposition 8, which was ultimately overturned in 2013.

Mozilla released a statement saying they made the wrong call putting Eich, who is best known for creating JavaScript scripting language, at the helm of the company. Protests continued, even with the dating website OKCupid actively encouraging its Firefox browser users to boycott the service.

Best Buy CEO Admits To Unprofessional Relationship With Intern

Scandal erupted at Best Buy earlier this year in April when then CEO Brian Dunn resigned in the spring, admitting to an "inappropriate relationship" with a 29-year-old intern. Media outlets reported shareholders weren't initially presented with all the facts around the case, either. Dunn stepped down and walked away in a mutual agreement with a multimillion-dollar severance package in the end.

Hewlett-Packard CEO Mark Hurd Resigns Following Sexual Harassment Allegations

In 2010, then HP CEO Mark Hurd was entangled in a full-blown scandal on charges he made a series of sexual advances toward a former HP marketing contractor.
Hurd was cleared of violating HP's sexual harassment policy but admitted in a statement that he didn't live up to company standards related to "trust, respect and integrity," and was ousted from the position. He's now co-CEO of Oracle in the wake of Larry Ellison recently stepping down.

Keane CEO Walks Away Amidst Harassment Claims

In 2007, Boston-based outsourcer Keane worked to find a new CEO months after its former chief executive stepped down amid sexual harassment charges.

The company said Kirk Arnold would assume the post vacated in March 2006 by Brian Keane. The son of the company's founder, Keane resigned after he was accused of sexual harassment by two female employees. Keane denied the charges but said in a statement at the time that he had exercised "poor judgment."