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Year in review: Round and round

Sinking fortunes, plummeting stock prices and waning demand for technology products pushed many technology CEOs out the door this year.

3 min read

Round and round
Tough year for the corner office

Perhaps CEO should stand for chief executive outsider.

They came, they talked, they tumbled. Sinking fortunes, plummeting stock prices and waning demand for technology products pushed many CEOs out the door this year. For some, it was a case of bad timing; for others, it was just bad.

So is it so hard being a technology CEO? Just ask some of the commanders in chief. When former Sprint executive Patti Hart took the helm at Excite@Home this year, she became the company's fourth chief executive since 1995. Since then the bankrupt high-speed Internet service provider announced it would cease operations in February, putting an end to its long unraveling. Hart barely got a chance to unpack her boxes.

2001 also turned an old motto on its head, by ushering out new CEOs and replacing them with new ones. When Gateway had little luck with Chief Executive Jeffrey Weitzen, founder Ted Waitt came back in through the out door. At AOL Time Warner, the appointment of Richard Parsons as CEO after Gerald Levin announced his retirement symbolized a coup for Time Warner's old guard.

2002 could bring more blues to the executive ranks if the economy doesn't improve. After all, the job market is tight. Want a corner office?

Tech CEOs put to the test
So you've taken the helm of a company that's bleeding red ink and cutting employees by the dozens. You've got six months to turn the company around. A challenge, or a suicide mission?
May 3, 2001
Waitt retakes the reins at Gateway
With his "I love Gateway" approach, Ted Waitt replaces CEO Jeffrey Weitzen--the man who had replaced him as the top man a little more than a year earlier.
January 29, 2001
Koogle: Maybe I'm not the one
When Yahoo was taking a hard look at its future, Tim Koogle questioned whether he was the right person to lead the portal through its next phase. But how is Terry Semel doing?
March 7, 2001
Old Economy retreat: Webvan CEO quits
George Shaheen shocked many by leaving Andersen for Webvan back when e-commerce was hot. As it cooled, he resigned, saying a "different kind" of executive was needed at the helm.
April 13, 2001
Big task: Excite@Home names chief
Patti Hart becomes the high-speed ISP's fourth CEO since 1995. Though former CEO George Bell resigned in 2000, he completely left the company in April--ahead of its eventual collapse.
April 23, 2001
Transmeta hopes three's a charm
The chipmaker forced out Mark Allen, its second chief executive since its initial public offering a year earlier. Will the third chief have better luck? All signs point to no.
November 5, 2001
Lost his grip: Yankowski leaves Palm
Carl Yankowski steps down after a brutal year for the handheld maker. Picture being profitable and flush with cash, and then watching your products pile up on retailers' shelves.
November 8, 2001
Surprise ending: Levin leaving AOL
Well, it won't take brute force to get Gerald Levin to leave Rockefeller Center, as some had quipped. The 62-year-old will retire in May and calls for a "new era of leadership."
December 5, 2001

• Gerstner's legacy: Does it matter?
• Bankruptcy not a tech stigma
• BlueLight pioneer goes out
• AOL: Just a cog
• Shaheen defends Net tenure
• Want to be Yahoo's next CEO?
• Exodus CEO's wild ride
• New i2 chief: Clock's ticking
• VerticalNet's Galli leaves helm
• Iomega CEO steps down