Fortune Magazine Names Nation’s Roughest Bosses

From Associated Press

And you thought your boss was tough.

T. J. Rodgers, head of Cypress Semiconductor, holds up paychecks if his vice presidents don’t do evaluations on time, Fortune magazine reported. Linda Wachner, chief executive officer of Warnaco, once kept an executive waiting three days, then dismissed him after a two-minute meeting, the magazine said. Steve Jobs of Next Computer has addressed workers in a way that family newspapers could only describe thus: "!$&?+!%/;)!”

In its Oct. 4 issue, Fortune crowns what it calls the seven “roughest, toughest, most intimidating bosses” in America. Several of them, however, say they are not sadistic slave drivers--or haven’t been lately.

Wachner, the only woman heading a Fortune 500 company, reportedly told an executive, “You’d better start firing people so they’ll understand you’re serious.”


Wachner, in a telephone interview with Associated Press, said, “That was in a turnaround situation.” She said she couldn’t recall keeping the other executive waiting three days.

Jack Connors, founder of the advertising agency Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos, was described as flying into rages that became known as “Jack attacks.”

Herbert Haft, embroiled in a family feud over control of Dart Group Corp., threatened to bankrupt his children and grandchildren if they didn’t meet his every demand, Fortune reported, citing court papers filed by his estranged wife, Gloria.

Tough Bosses 6 and 7 are Harvey and Bob Weinstein of Miramax films, described as hotheads who throw phones and knock over chairs.