Crises Linger for Confused Spotify, Tone-Deaf and Rugby Team

In gest, but only partly, measurement guru Katie Paine suggested the last weeks of 2021 and first days of 2022 offer enough botched PR and PR crises to assemble a March Madness-style ranking. She’s right.

There were crises where CEOs were able to escape consequences:

  • Troubled Activision chief Bobby Kotick is set for a huge payday after Microsoft’s record-setting purchase closes.
  • Chris Kempczinski, CEO of McDonald’s, barely took a reputation hit for his response to shootings of two young children, including one at a McDonald’s, texting Chicago’s mayor: “the parents failed those kids which I know is something you can’t say. Even harder to fix.”

And a few where leaders were ousted, including Barclays Bank CEO Jes Staley, who ‘forgot’ two trips to Jeffrey Epstein’s island and Apollo’s Leon Black, who also downplayed his relationship with Epstein. Hired to reform a scandalous cultue, Credit Suisse chair Antonio Horta-Osorio flouted Swiss quarantine rules after traveling abroad twice, including a trip to watch Wimbledon in 2021, whose men’s champ, Novak Djokovic, created a COVID-related mess earlier this year in Australia, which endured a PR incident of its own.


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