Tenure: 9 months
When General Motors went bankrupt, its CEO, Rick Wagoner stepped down. On March 31, 2009, he was replaced by Frederick "Fritz" Henderson, a 25-year veteran of the company and its then-current vice president. Here was a man with vast experience and encyclopedic knowledge of the company. Who better to bring it back from the precipice of extinction?
Henderson relished the opportunity. "Being part of a turnaround at GM when, frankly, many people don't think it can be done is exhilarating, if you like challenges," the executive told CBC/Radio-Canada. The company repaid the money the U.S. government had used to bail it out, but it still wasn't enough to save Henderson's job. He resigned on Dec. 1, 2009, after nine months at the top, and was replaced by Ed Whitacre, Jr.