10 Fictional CEOs Who Couldn’t Cut it in the Real World

Advertisement

Whether it’s a movie where aliens are blowing up the world or a TV show where a bunch of friends just will-they-or-won’t-they until they eventually get it on, fictional worlds still need fictional jobs. Those fictional jobs need fictional businesses, and those fictional businesses need fictional business structures. (In fact, Forbes has worked out the value of the 25 largest fictional companies, proving that even your fantasies have a price.)

But how would the CEOs who run those fictional businesses fare in real world? Would they be John D. Rockefellers or Carly Fiorinas?

Tony Stark

vignette3.wikia.nocookie.net

Advertisement

Who wouldn’t want to invest in a company that’s run by the lovechild of Nicola Tesla and Robert Downey Jr.? You have a guaranteed return of sexy, sexy science.

On the other hand, one of Stark’s first acts as a post-Iron-Man CEO was to get Stark Industries out of making weapons. But weapons manufacturing is crazy profitable – the industry is worth $1.5 trillion dollars a year – meaning that if you were a major company investor, you spent the day of Tony Stark’s “I’m Iron Man” announcement trying to be excited about the fact that superheroes are real while losing millions.

3/5 Rockefellers

Bruce Wayne

vignette2.wikia.nocookie.net

Advertisement

Any superhero with a secret identity spends a lot of time out of office. But Batman takes it a step further because he doesn’t sleep (see: Knight, Dark). Or, in the rare cases that he does it’s with badass cracked ribs and all kinds of stitches. There’s no way he’s getting into REM sleep when he’s rolling onto katana wounds.

That means at least some Wayne Enterprises board meetings have ended when Bruce was shaken awake and accidentally used his ninja reflexes to break every arm in a roomful of confused business people.

1/5 Rockefellers

Lex Luthor

supermanfan.com

Advertisement

No matter how good Lex Luthor is as a businessman or engineer, an outright supervillain is never going to be a great choice for CEO. Not only is he constantly going to jail, leaving LexCorp without strong leadership, but he’s constantly threatening the life of literally the most popular person on planet Earth. Terrible PR.

Just imagine tuning into CNN and seeing your boss in a suit of kryoptonite power armor. Take a flex day: your stock options just tanked.

1/5 Rockefellers

Norman Osborn

2.bp.blogspot.com

Advertisement

Norman Osborn is basically the perfect CEO: highly intelligent and utterly ruthless. If Oscorp’s got to make an omelette, he’ll break the eggs.

Unfortunately, he’s also a micromanager. Instead of letting his scientists test Oscorp’s supersoldier serum in clinical trials, he went ahead and downed it himself, transforming him into the Green Goblin. Imagine trying to do lab work when you have to worry about your boss randomly quaffing from your bubbly science vials.

2/5 Rockefellers

Scrooge McDuck

thefederalist.com

Advertisement

Sure, Scrooge McDuck is the richest duck in the world. He’s a globetrotting adventurer who amassed a fortune from mummies and time travel. Those are risks ballsy enough to make Tony Stark look like Bill Gates.

But ironically, he’s seriously risk-averse: mountains of gold in a giant safe? Not only is he not earning a single dollar in interest, it’s all tied to a single commodity price! Get that liquidity ratio in line with industry best practices and diversify!

4/5 Rockefellers

Mr. Burns

s3.amazonaws.com

Advertisement

He may be a literally cartoonish villain, but Mr. Burns isn’t stupid. He got into electricity, which is something everyone needs, and the government doles out billions in subsidies every year (nearly $17 billion).

All Burns Industries really needs is a thorough human resources review to trim the fat and everything will be… excellent.

5/5 Rockefellers

Willy Wonka

vignette2.wikia.nocookie.net

Advertisement

If Steve Jobs had gotten into candy instead of computers, he’d be Willy Wonka – genius, visionary, mescaline enthusiast.

But as far as succession planning goes, bringing a bunch of random children into your deathtrap candy factory isn’t a great way to ensure long-term stability. Plus, it looks like Wonka didn’t even consider any internal candidates. Maybe there weren’t any qualified Oompa Loompas, or maybe the candy industry just has the same problem as every other industry.

1/5 Rockefellers

Gordon Gekko

cineville.nl

Advertisement

You’d figure that a man whose credo was “Greed is good” would be a shoo-in as a great CEO. But the numbers don’t lie.

The original Wall Street movie had a budget of $15 million and made $43.8 million, while Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps made $134.7 million on a budget of $70 million. That means the franchise’s return on investment (ROI) decreased from 1.92 to 0.92. Looks like it’s time for new blood, Gordon. (But Shia LeBouf? Gross.)

2/5 Rockefellers

John Hammond

vignette3.wikia.nocookie.net

Advertisement

The CEO of InGen and ultimate creator of Jurassic Park, John Hammond is a classic Icarus type. He founded a multi-billion-dollar company devoted to genetically engineering dinosaurs, did the impossible, and then lost it all when Newman from Seinfeld turned off his don’t-murder-people fences.

Is a bold, risk-taking CEO a bad thing? Not necessarily.  But as the old saying goes: “If you want to make Jeff Goldblum laugh, make plans.”

3/5 Rockefellers

CEO of the Acme Corporation

cdn2.uk.mentalfloss.com

Advertisement

The Looney Toons cartoons never identify the powers that be at the Acme Corporation, but whoever they are they’re doing a bangup job.

Acme’s product diversity makes Monstanto look like a mom and pop operation. They offer everything from sports equipment like exploding tennis balls to industrial products like anvils. And, despite operating in the early 20th century, they’d already perfected just in time delivery (JIT). No sooner has Wile E. Coyote placed an order than it arrives on his doorstep. It’s like if Amazon had sold rocket shoes in the 1930s.

5/5 Rockefellers

13469 Total Views 6 Views Today

Advertisement

More Yacks