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Corrupt Corporate Executive

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"Family, religion, friendship. These are the three demons you must slay if you wish to succeed in business."
"Excellent job! Now to restructure the banking system so that we will be able to rob the shirts off of poor people...uh, I mean, to invest prudently and generate wealth that will trickle down."
Antonio Lopez, Tropico 4

A senior manager, CEO or owner of a major definitely-for-profit corporation who is out to make as much money and gain as much power as possible, by any means available, regardless of who suffers. To that end, they are perfectly willing to violate business or social ethics, commit crimes (ranging from fraudulent accounting to mass murder), and devastate Mother Nature and human communities, justifying those actions under the name of "just business." They are confident that all they have to do is spread enough money around to get their way or avoid punishment, and are very likely to cross the Moral Event Horizon in their search for profit. They are also very, very likely to be White (or Asian) and male, like CEOs in real life.

Expect to find them at the head of an enormous boardroom table on the top floor of an Evil Tower of Ominousness. He may be a Bad Boss, but not always. A few of them can actually be very decent employers, with employees who are completely in the dark about their underhanded plans. If so, the public is often just as much in the dark. Naturally, this sort of villain tends to have an Amoral Attorney (or several) on his payroll to keep the authorities off his back, in case he does slip up, and a small stormtrooper army of "security personnel" who have carte blanche to "deal with problems", dispose of evidence of wrongdoing and commit violent crimes to protect the boss. If those resources fail, he often uses money to "buy" or even "own" officials.

They usually fail to consider the full effects of their plan, or the fact that they can make more by going legit, and at times the plan seems to have no concrete way of creating wealth. Usually, they remain in business thanks to Offscreen Villain Dark Matter. Expect them to butt heads with fellows executives when their plans give the business a P.R. headache.

Though there are earlier examples, the modern Corrupt Corporate Executive had (until relatively recently) a distinctly The '80s feel, which made him seem progressively more out of place as those affectations become less mainstream. Earlier Corrupt Corporate Executives tended to be far less stylized and distinct from other "smooth" villain types (often with a healthy streak of Ernst Stavro Blofeld). However, starting with the Turn of the Millennium onwards, countless high profile real-life cases of corporate corruption have arguably diminished the '80s feel of the character and made the Corrupt Corporate Executive a very modern villain—particularly with the rise in the last decade of the Tech Bro subtype. See the analysis page for more discussion of the variations of Corrupt Corporate Execs that show up in media.

This is one of the inevitable progressions that any ambitious character will end in. See Also There Are No Good Executives. Occasionally, the CCE will be the producer of an Immoral Reality Show. If the executive is a caricature of a certain someone with fake poofy hair and lives in a giant tower, then that is a Trumplica.

See also the Corrupt Politician and the Morally Bankrupt Banker (who helps hide ill-gotten gains in a secret Swiss Bank Account), his drinking buddies, and the Amoral Attorney, a brigade of whom will be found on his payroll. A CCE will either be in regular contact with the local Diabolical Mastermind or (if particularly organised, competent, and disinterested in petty matters of legality) will be one himself. Compare Greedy Jew and Pointy-Haired Boss. Contrast Honest Corporate Executive, the CCE's natural enemy. But remember that sometimes, Even Evil Has Standards (and/or Loved Ones), especially in a What You Are in the Dark situation.

Sadly, this trope is all too often Truth in Television, but be that as it may, No Real Life Examples, Please!

Examples subpages:

Other examples:

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    Anime & Manga 
  • Satoru Kanzaki of Area 88 becomes one of these after he takes over Yamato Airlines. Among other things, he was instrumental in adopting a very shoddily built new airliner.
  • Extensively referenced in the Cyberpunk series Bubblegum Crisis, where not only are GENOM's executives corrupt, but also controlling both the police and local government via a Government Conspiracy. The Big Bad, Quincy, is the head of the corporation who does everything in the name of profit, while Brian J. Mason, another high-ranking executive, is even worse; he bought a housing complex, evicted all the residents (including Priss) and leveled it so Genom could develop the property into another of their research facilities, even after being told someone was still inside at the time. Oh, and years prior to that, he murdered Sylia's father, too.
  • Sir Isaac Ray Peram Westcott in Date A Live is the Managing Director of Deus.Ex.Machina Industries. On one hand, he was the one who invented the Realizers. On the other hand, he wants to seek and harness all of Spirit powers so he can plunge the whole world in chaos and destruction.
  • At first glance, the Yotsuba Group in Death Note appeared to be a group of ruthless businessmen who were willing to turn anything towards gaining money. When one of them gained access to the eponymous Artifact of Doom, they used it to selectively kill off their rivals in order to increase their profit margins. As L and Light's investigation went on, it was revealed that only one of them was willing to go so far. The others were just there because their lives had been threatened by the holder of the eponymous note.
  • The Gowa family and Symbol from Gasaraki. Kazukiyo Gowa is pretty goddamned corrupt, from using hollowed out demons to develop mecha, resulting in his brother's death, his adopted brother's borderline slavery to the family and nearly killing his sister for a new demon, to taking part in a coup that will result in either Japan being left completely bankrupt, or Japan and America both completely bankrupt, only to get a hold of the entire county's financial Data, so he can restart the stockmarket with his hands holding all the cards.
  • HuGtto! Pretty Cure has George Kurai, the President of the Criasu Corporation. He's trying to steal everyone's future by stopping time.
  • Idol Densetsu Eriko: Eriko's Evil Uncle Yuusuke, once he gets control of his deceased brother's entertaiment company, sees Eriko as a potential cash cow, and once she decides to work with her father's best friend instead, tries to destroy her career. He's basically the anime version of Eric Raymond, but perhaps even worse.
  • Gan'an Shinomiya in Kaguya-sama: Love Is War is Kaguya's neglectful father and the head of a shady zaibatsu. He's rarely seen, but it's shown that he raised all of his children to be manipulative sociopaths for the sake of increasing the family's prestige.
  • Ajo from Key the Metal Idol. When he wasn't busy traveling to foreign countries to sell them illegal weapons, he was murdering people who got in his way (no matter how much the audience may like them), kidnapping homeless people to extract their gel (and robbing them of their humanity in the process), extorting people, abusing women, or, in the end, building a giant reactor to steal the essence from 50,000 people at a concert. All apparently to fuel his robot fetish.
  • Ragyo Kiryuin from Kill la Kill. This woman has managed to get way with...
    • Helping a Magic Meteor eat random people off the street due to having a global monopoly on clothing.
    • Making clothing that installs a custom Weirdness Censor in anyone without built-up immunity (or nudism).
    • Blatant sexual abuse of her daughter Satsuki and her other daughter Ryuko.
    • Attempting to allow an entire stadium full of innocent men, women, and children to be consumed by alien lifeforms.
  • Oyama from the 2009 TV special of Kimba the White Lion. He isn't into money so much as he is into playing God with animals.
  • Kirby: Right Back at Ya! brings us the evil Galactic Conqueror Nightmare. He is the owner of Holy Nightmare Corporation (Nightmare Enterprises in the dub), a company that literally rules the entire universe.

  • Hades Vandein, the Big Bad of Magical Record Lyrical Nanoha Force and general manager of the Vandein Corporation. He's the main instigator of the Eclipse incident and the reason why there are Infected running around The Multiverse blowing various towns up, as well as various labs filled with the bloody and fatal results of human experimentation. It's all part of the R&D his company is doing on the Eclipse virus as it'll bring huge profits to his company once they refine the technological advances related to it.
    Hades Vandein: It's not unusual for bloodshed and lawsuits to happen over the development and monopolizing of new technologies.
  • From Martian Successor Nadesico:
    • Nergal Heavy Industries in general, with the exception of people on the ship from the start. With a name like that...
    • Their rivals, the Crimson Group, are even worse, financing the terrorist coup in the movie.
  • In Men's Love, many of the characters are portrayed as morally flexible in the interests of business, but Daigo's father definitely wanders into this trope when he bribes Kaoru to break up with Daigo and (failing that) threatens to expose his sexual orientation so that Daigo can make a marriage that's advantageous to the company.
  • My Hero Academia featured the Meta Liberation Army, a terrorist organization fighting for unregulated usage of superpowers, led by several corporate executives who secretly controlled all of Deika City.
    • The leader, Re-Destro, was president and CEO of the Detnerat Company, which was dedicated to creating individual items fitting people with Quirks that make them unable to buy anything standardized as well as items to support the Quirks of himself and his followers in combat.
    • Curious was the executive director of Shoowaysha (Shueisha) Publishing and used her authority to disseminate MLA propaganda across Japan.
    • Skeptic was a board member from leading IT company Feel Good, Inc., and as a result could restore data and trace phone calls to know the location of his enemies.
  • Napping Princess: The main antagonist, Watanabe, is a senior member of Sajima Motors, and uses his power to influence the police and ultimately intends to make a hostile takeover of the company. In general, he does keep to legal means, however, and even wants the procession at the Olympic Games to go over well just as much as everyone else (even if that's just because it would be bad for him if someone was injured). His counterpart in Heartland is much worse, making sure the princess stays imprisoned, keeping the country in danger, and ultimately wants to watch everything burn when his plans are foiled.
  • Naruto featured Gato, head of Gato Company, in the first major story arc. His company's shipments allowed him to mask his trade in all manner of illicit goods. For unspecified reasons he decided to take over all shipping lanes from the Land of Waves, preventing the island nation from carrying out any of the standard trade and driving it into poverty. Gato went one step further by purposefully targeting anybody who gave the people hope and eliminating them in public and gruesome manners.
  • The Siberian Railroad from Overman King Gainer uses the monopoly they have to overcharge people on everything, and since the only way to get anything is to use the Siberian Railroad they can do whatever they want.
  • Phantom Quest Corp.: Not only is Mr. Nagasuki screwing his secretary on the job, he abuses his position as the museum's curator to try to coerce his employee, Natsuki, to sleep with him. Plus, he was later found guilty of embezzling funds from the museum, so the blank check he had paid Ayaka with, was worthless.
  • Pokémon: Zoroark: Master of Illusions: Grings Kodai. He's the founder and owner of his extremely successful company. He will also go down in history as one of the nastiest pieces of work in Pokemon history. There are no lows he won't sink to in order to get what he wants, including blackmail, lying to a city, kidnapping, and threatening to murder a baby Pokemon directly in front of its mother! He'll also go down in Pokemon history as having one of the most satisfying Humiliation Conga ever given.
  • Rebuild World: Cyberpunk Dystopia variant. The Alliance of Mega-Corp have absolute power in the country in which protagonist Akira lives, with their Propaganda Machine disguising the various company's frequent False Flag Operation strife. Most of the bad corporate schemes are shown at the local level.
  • Rurouni Kenshin has Takeda Kanryu, who participates in shady businesses (opium and weapon trade) and won't hesitate to have people slaughtered if it will allow him to continue making money. The live action movie expands on this, showing him snub his nose at the authorities whenever they try to question him.
  • Saturn Apartments features a power plant. The safety there leaves a lot to be desired. The boss at the plant knows. He does not, however, give a damn.
  • Shugo Chara!: While the show is "extraordinarily" supportive of large amounts of ambition, both the "director" of Easter Company, Kazamu Hoshina, and his boss Gozen definitely count for this; although, unlike most examples, they are not motivated by money: Gozen just asks for the Embryo, and Kazamu does as he says. However, while an all - being source of infinite powers in the "care" of a couple of bastards may be a very annoying thing indeed, it's what 'makes' them bastards that throw them straight to this trope: Their methods. Their worst crime would be breaking or corrupting horrifically large amounts of Heart's Eggs, thus stopping the dreams of what would probably be hundreds of children, in order to get the Embryo. As for Kazamu's foolishness while attempting to give Gozen, A.K.A. Hikaru Ichinomiya, his grandson, easter's C.E.O. position, due both towards a distaste of the (Would be forced.) former proposed heir towards the easter heritage, Aruto, partly due towards his (Acheived.) dream of playing his violin, and due towards him emigrating, alone, within order towards avoiding running that company, and an action asking to use a "fitting" heir for easter: Blackmailing throughout violence Souko, Aruto's former wife, towards marrying him, thus giving him parental authority of both Aruto and Souko's children: Ikuto and Utau
  • Albert Maverick from Tiger & Bunny. He's willing to make deals with crime syndicates, murder people who know too much, and mess with a child's mind to make a new popular hero just to keep ratings up. And said child was the son of two of his victims, and another victim worked as his caretaker. Made even worse by how he has NEXT powers too, in which he can rewrite people's memories. And he very much uses them.
  • Variable Geo: Big Bad Miranda Jahana is the driving force behind The Jahana Group's activities, with Damian as her most loyal subordinate. Once they learn of Satomi's latent fighting potential, she has him manipulate her into entering the VG tournament, so she could use Satomi as her new vessel.
  • In Witchblade Wadou of the Douji Group is quite willing to backstab a colleague, risk his corporation's image or abuse his position to work with mad partner from NSWF toward personal goals while endangering bystanders knowingly and by negligence. In contrast, Reiji Takayama (as well as his old staff) in the same Douji Group, despite his occasional blunders, is responsible and becomes a Silent Scapegoat to save his company's reputation.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!:
    • Gozaburo Kaiba and the Big Five. Gozaburo put Seto Kaiba through hell to mold him into his idea of the proper replacement for him and had no qualms with manufacturing and selling weapons to anyone for the right price. The Big Five, meanwhile, made plenty of deals behind Kaiba's back after he gained control of the company and reinvented it as a gaming distributor, including kidnapping Kaiba's own brother, in order to oust him as chairman and revert the company to its former warmongering ways.
    • Kaiba himself. While not as bad as his father, he still abuses his wealth and power for everything it's worth, blocking players he doesn't like from tournaments, refusing to call a halt to the proceedings after several of his players are hospitalised, and taking over companies by threatening their employees. He's even worse in the manga where he has dealings with the mafia and sets up a colossal theme park designed to kill the guests (Well, more specifically to kill Yugi and his friends, but still). (He gets better, though.)
      Kaiba: Am I supposed to be scared to attack?
      Dartz: Well, only if destroying an innocent soul concerns you...
      Kaiba: Nah. As the president of a major corporation, I have to do that every day.
    • Pegasus fits this as well, using his power as the head of Industrial Illusions and host of the Duelist Kingdom tournament for all its worth.
    • Dartz, the main antagonist of the anime-only Doma arc, is the head of the Paradius corporation, a multinational conglomerate that dwarfs Kaiba's company. The whole group is a front for resurrecting an evil, soul-devouring god, and some of the company's activities include running a private prison for children and funding civil wars in other countries.
    • Manjyome's two brothers from Yu-Gi-Oh! GX probably count (although, as Kaiba himself says, they're clearly not very good at it).
  • From YuYu Hakusho:
    • Sakyou and the Black Black Club. Gambling on the torture and destruction of demons, and organizing a tournament for this reason, just to earn more money... these people DEFINE "corrupt".
    • There is also the Dark Tournament Committee, who are easily bribed to impose increasingly absurd restrictions on the heroes during their fight with Team Masho.

    Fan Works 
  • In the Godzilla MonsterVerse fanfiction Abraxas (Hrodvitnon), Apex Cybernetics heiress Maia Simmons is a Rare Female Example, although it should be noted that she implicitly still answers to her father, the company's current director, like in canon. Maia and her company are a bit of a Hidden Agenda Villain here, but she appears to be interested in accumulating power in the post-Mass Awakening world via both legal and illegal means. Unlike most CCEs, Maia actually scorns over-reliance on Screw the Rules, I Have Money!.
  • Tanizaki Kazuo, the Big Bad of the sequel to Claymade's The Dark Lords of Nerima. The head of one of the biggest corporations in Japan if not the world, he has numerous shadowy dealings ranging from bribery to weapons dealing, which he operates alongside his legitimate operations. And that's not even scratching the surface of what his actual plans are.
  • In the Captain Planet and the Planeteers fanfic Heroes for Earth, this is pretty much the standard MO for everyone who works in the Corporation, as greasing the wheels of government officials, breaking government laws, and strong-arming those who dare to protest is done to achieve greater profits and make sure they get away with their actions.
  • Damon Trout in Five Nights at Freddy's fanfiction Just Another Night at Freddy's steals Foxy, an animatronic at Fazbears, as well as kidnaps and even threatens to murder Mike Schmidt to ensure the success of his rival pizza chain, Pizza Baron. And only emits anger with Schmidt when said animatronic assaults and almost kills his technicians and investors, even allowing him to interact with kids, predictably scaring them (and traumatizing Foxy).
  • In The Karma of Lies, Gabriel Agreste has his secretary Nathalie use sentimonsters to impersonate Union leaders, having the doppelgangers get caught doing immoral or illegal things in order to undermine said Unions and dissolve their power.
  • Mare of Steel has Alexander Silversmith (basically Lex Luthor as a pony); his first appearance has him arranging a bombing to destroy the facilities of one of his competitors, and he is powerful enough that when Rainbow Dash/Supermare foils his plot, he passes it off as third party zealots trying to frame him and stall the economy. And that's before he puts his resources to work helping Steel Wing's campaign against Supermare, or helping Brainiac build a bomb capable of destroying Cloudsdale as part of a Sadistic Choice designed to break Rainbow Dash's will. Neither of which he's punished for in the story.
  • Mega Man: Defender of the Human Race has Marcus Vickers as of episode 7; before then, he was mostly ineffectual. In a bit of a win for reality, it's shown that the board of directors only put up with him as long as he kept the company's image clean and the profits in the green. When both of those fall apart from his increasingly deranged actions, the board has him voted out of power.
  • William Meikletrough in My Little Animaniacs, a pony who forces Rita to perform in his show by holding several of her friends hostage.
  • Gavin Caine and Roger Arsenault of The New Retcons are both this, but it's hard to say who is worse:
    • Gavin, who tried to halt an investigation into whether building Millborough on a nuclear test site affected the health of its citizens as revenge by proxy on his son Anthony because he refused to assist Gavin in his expansion plans, and the investigation was spearheaded by the wife of the man Anthony chose to work for instead of him.
    • Or Roger, who will fan the flames any which way he can so he can buy land dirt cheap and develop it.
  • In the Kingdom Hearts fanfic Oblivion, Ansem is depicted as one — he's the CEO of a massive electronics company, and he's got a secret lab where he's carrying out certain unethical (and unnatural) experiments.
  • Prehistoric Earth: Percival von Grimm is a very high ranking member of the executive board for Novum and is second in rank only to Honest Corporate Executive founder Theodore Richardson. In contrast to his boss's altruistic plans to use the time portal as a means to bring prehistoric animals to the future for the sake of being given a second chance at life at the titular Extinct Animal Park, Percival's own ideas for how to make money off the portal and the prehistoric animals are far less benevolent. More specifically, he goes so far as to secretly run a prehistoric animal smuggling ring on the same island as the park and hire Duncan Kent to sabotage the park behind Theodore's back.
  • Prehistoric Park Reimagined: While not quite to the same extent as his Prehistoric Earth counterpart, Percival Richardson is not a pleasant Novum board member to be around and is entirely willing to resort to underhanded techniques (up to and including hiring cheap laborers to spy on the titular park) to achieve what he wants.
  • Queen of All Oni: Filler Villain Anton Mortimer is an example leaning more towards corrupt jerkass than outright evil: he inherited a Pacific shipping company from his father, which he uses as a front for amassing a huge collection of stolen Asian artifacts to fuel his Foreign Culture Fetish. Since his assistant didn't Read the Fine Print on her contract, he able to treat her like a slave, forcing her to wear a fuka and change her name just so he has a badass Asian sidekick, with no care towards her personal feelings. And he doesn't hesitate to use his money and connections to try and threaten the J-Team and Captain Black into backing off so he can keep a recently-purchased Oni mask — and he's not even ignorant of its power; he knows how dangerous it is, but cares more about it as a collectible.
  • Service with a Smile: Averted with Alexander Sterling, a regional director of Café Prime, a major coffee retailer, and Jaune's rival. While he does engage in marketing schemes that are barely disguised price-fixing, and he is personally unpleasant and rude toward Jaune, he is operating within his rights as a competitor. Jaune himself tells off the Malachite Twins for wanting to treat a legal business like a rival gang to destroy. Played straight, as it's revealed that the hoods who wrecked Jaune's place and injured him were working on orders from Café Prime. Later when he starts receiving bad press due to buying Jaune's building and evicting him, Sterling tries to have Jaune evicted sooner than is legal, even if he has to make up a reason why..
  • Sophistication and Betrayal has Cashmere, who is very willing to engage in unethical business practices to beat out her competition.
  • Sword Art Online Abridged's version of Shouzou Yuuki is this in contrast with his canon self. Not only is he an Abusive Parent who's willing to cut off his daughter Asuna's life support to avoid paying the medical bills (before his lawyers talked him out of the idea), but he's also a Horrible Judge of Character who decides to marry her off to the "nice gentleman" Nobuyuki Sugou so he can pay them instead.

    Films — Animation 
  • An Angel for Christmas: Kovet, who uses his power as the boss of the flange factory — where practically everyone in town works — to even do such things as boss around his own enforcement group and cancel Christmas.
  • Alistair Krei of Big Hero 6, who Robert Callaghan mentions as cutting corners when it comes to his company's application of technology. It's later revealed that one such incident led to the loss of Callaghan's daughter when Krei proceeded with the live demonstration of teleportation technology despite the warnings from his own engineer of a problem.
  • Despicable Me: Even by the standards of the Bank of Evil (Formerly Lehman Brothers), it turns out. Can there be anything more evil than someone like Mr. Perkins? And is using his position to promote his own worthless son over the solid efforts of a real villain?
  • The Big Bad of Hey Arnold! The Movie, Alphonse Perrier du von Scheck. He is the CEO of Future Tech Industries and the descendant of a commanding redcoat during the Revolutionary War who plots to have Arnold's neighborhood, where a significant battle occurred that the colonists won against his family, demolished so that he can make room for a new mall complex and reclaim it in the name of his family, even going as far as to burn the vital government document revealing the truth about his ancestors and declaring the neighborhood a national historic landmark in front of Arnold and Gerald so nobody can stop his evil plan. However, Scheck's decision to destroy the document comes back to bite him right in his ass due to the whole thing having been Caught on Tape by his own surveillance cameras, mounted everywhere in his building, and the document was shown as clear as possible before he burned it. The boys manage to obtain a videotape of Scheck's crimes and show them to the infuriated townspeople, resulting in his eventual arrest.
  • Mr. Gilbert Huph in the The Incredibles. He is an insurance exec who is determined to deny as many insurance claims as he can, regardless of how legitimate they are as per their customers' contracts. So, if Bob Parr really wanted to strike back at this bully, he could remember that Huph is making himself liable for a major Breach of Contract lawsuit.
  • Jetsons: The Movie: Mr. Spacely, who is normally a Mean Boss to George, hiring and firing him on a whim, graduates into this by knowingly destroying a colony of cute aliens on an asteroid to mine for raw materials. While he does relent and agrees to let the aliens recycle the sprockets, he takes away George's raise.
  • President/Lord Business from The LEGO Movie. His corporation manufactures and sells literally everything in Bricksburg, and the main conflict in the film consists of him trying to "micromanage" (super-glue) everything together so that it stays in place and the corporation stays in business.
  • Mr. O'Hare in the film version of The Lorax only cares about profiting from his air company and is actively disdainful towards trees returning. The Once-ler also acts the same way towards his Thneed company before the failure of his business and subsequent Heel Realization.
  • Averted in Meet the Robinsons. The large company Inventco is responsible for mass-producing the evil robotic hats which end up enslaving humanity in one alternate timeline, but it's strongly implied they had no idea that this would happen. The real villain is actually the original hat itself. Otherwise, Inventco does nothing but positive things, sponsoring school science fairs and giving aspiring inventors a chance to make it big.
  • Downplayed with Dr. Mark Bowman, the Tech Bro CEO of the tech giant Pal in The Mitchells vs. the Machines. He genuinely wants to create products to help people, but has little qualms about ethics as he laughs about his Virtual Sidekick hacking into his rivals' emails and admits to stealing people's data during his Heel Realization.
    Mark: Just so someone knows, I'm sorry about causing the whole machine uprising. It's almost like stealing people's data and giving it to a hyper-intelligent A.I. as part of an unregulated tech monopoly was a bad thing.
    Rick: Yeah, that wasn't your best thought.
  • Mr. Waternoose in Monsters, Inc.. This is mostly brought about by the company's impending failure, so he felt he had no choice but to agree to serve as Randall's henchman.
  • "Big Boss" from Rio 2, who runs an illegal logging operation in the Amazon and doesn't hesitate to abandon a few environmentalists in the jungle just to cover up his acts.
  • Robots has Ratchet, The Dragon to Madame Gasket who took control of Bigweld Industries prior to Rodney coming to Robot City. He had a plan to con robots out of their money by convincing them to replace their old bodies in favor of shiny newer ones and shutting down production of spare parts for older models to make the new parts their only choice, going against Bigweld's slogan that you can be successful regardless of what you're made of.
  • Rugrats in Paris had Coco LaBouche, the French Jerk executive in charge of the EuroReptarland amusement park. Her own Servile Snarker henchman describes her as a "heartless shrew" and Child Hater, and she spends the film trying to manipulate Chuckie's father into marrying her so she can impress the family values-believing CEO and be named as his successor. She resorts to kidnapping and imprisoning the toddlers to prevent them from disrupting the wedding, and steals Chuckie's teddy bear for no reason other than spite.
  • Scooby-Doo! Abracadabra-Doo: Calvin Curdles has a spy informing him about any struggles suffered by the owner of the castle he wants to buy to turn into a restaurant. Subverted when it turns out his real reason to want the castle has nothing to do with business.
  • Storks: Hunter is the CEO of Cornerstore, a stork-run delivery service that he created to get away from the baby business. When a baby is accidentally created, he is more concerned about the value of the company's stocks than the baby's fate. So much so that he decides that having the baby raised by penguins is better than the real family since that way nobody would find out about their mistake.
  • Clayton from Tarzan (2013), who uses a conservation project as a cover for securing the Mineral MacGuffin, brings in a private mercenary army to secure control of it, and plans to murder Porter and Jane to ensure that there are no witnesses to gainsay his version of events.
  • Up: The real estate guy who made Carl out to be a public menace after Carl hit one of his employees with a walking stick just so he could have him sent to a retirement home and thus remove the only obstacle to getting Carl's land. For some he is the only real evil character of the movienote .
  • The main villain of Yogi the Easter Bear was the owner of a plastics factory named Paulie, who schemed to kidnap the Easter Bunny and destroy his supply of Easter eggs so that he could make a profit on eggs made of plastic.

  • The Radix: Deena Riverside and Dilon Armstrong, respectively CEO and owner of Taft-Ryder Farmaceuticals, who hunt for Radix, a holy relic that belonged to Jesus, to develop a new, groundbreaking medicine.
  • Occurs in Daniel Handler's A Series of Unfortunate Events with Sir, the amoral, cigar-smoking lumbermill owner who pays his workers in coupons and gives them gum for lunch; in a later appearance, business is bad, as nearby lumber source the Finite Forest is running out of trees.
  • From Tales of the Astonishing Black Spark there is Christopher Row, Donald's agent after arriving in New York to become a superhero. The chapter All This and Rabbit Stew is where he ramps it up to eleven, manipulating Donald into taking advertisements that accentuate the stereotypes associated with his race.
  • Occurs several times in David Wingrove's Chung Kuo series.
  • In Roald Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, it is mentioned that Willy Wonka's first factory was put out of business due to his recipes getting stolen by CCEs via corporate espionage. This is a major reason why Wonka hires Oompa Loompas because they are completely loyal to him. As a subplot in the first film adaptation, Charlie is approached by a CCE who tries to convince Charlie to spy on Wonka for him (fortunately, it's only a Secret Test of Character, and Charlie refuses anyway).
  • Dead Silence has several in the background along with Reed, who is more interested in career advancement and feeding his daddy issues than solving the mystery behind the lost Ghost Ship Aurora being found.
  • The Dragon Egg Princess: Mr. Murtagh, the son of the owner of the Omni Murtagh. He has large sections of the Kidahara bulldozed, knowingly endangering the lives of his men due to the various magical creatures inhabiting the forest. He's also in cahoots with Prince Roku and Samena, aka Luzee.
  • Robert Sobel's Alternate History classic For Want of a Nail features Bernard Kramer, a Rags to Riches German immigrant who corrupts the democratic political system of the United States of Mexico for the benefit of his Mega-Corp. He even prepares the installment of a dictator.
  • Forever and a Death by Donald Westlake has Richard Curtis. He was always a corner-cutter and bullying executive but is living off of investors money at the moment (over-selling shares in projects) and plans to steal all the gold in Hong Kong's bak and flood half the city to cover it up.
  • Averted in Starship's Mage by the righteous fury of a CEO whose interstellar corporation would have had a zero-fatality year, if it weren't for the Corrupt Corporate Executives at competing companies. He provides information to the protagonists as they're going up against the corrupt government that was handing out safety "exemptions" left and right.
  • Newman King, founder and CEO of the eponymous retail chain of Bentley Little's The Store. Whereas the average CCE causes suffering as a side-effect of their ruthless pursuit of profit, King and his organization go out of their way to cause completely unnecessary suffering on top of the side-effects of his ruthless pursuit of profit. The company's corporate motto might as well be "For the Evulz." The Store sets up shop in small towns, buys the local government and puts small business owners out of business, like a relatively normal company might. But then it also does things like buy up the town's utilities so it can spy on people's phone calls and e-mails, murder small business owners, , force employees to go out and beat the homeless, stock child pornography and other bizarre, illegal products, whore out female employees, sic zombies on people, trick a man into having sex with his own daughter and send his wife the videotape of it, etc. This is, however, partly done as jet-black satire.
  • Derek Leech in assorted fiction by Kim Newman, including the novel The Quorum; a living embodiment of Thatcherism or an Anonymous Ringer of Rupert Murdoch crossed with SATAN himself.
  • Reacher Gilt from Terry Pratchett's Going Postal. Essentially John Galt from Atlas Shrugged reincarnated as a Magnificent Bastard, he runs the Grand Trunk (essentially a pre-telegraph version of Western Union) and is willing to run the machines until they fall apart (and kill off the operators as needed) in the name of extra money. In fact, he's a con artist like Moist von Lipwig, the book's protagonist, but worse because he has more ambition and fewer scruples; it's eventually revealed he plans to run the company into the ground and buy it at rock-bottom prices (with money embezzled from the other board members, no less) under an alias, just to see if he can get away with it. He also conned the original owners of the Grand Trunk by buying the company with its own money, driving them into despair and poverty, and keeps a half-feral banshee on hire to kill anyone who threatens his long con whom he can't buy off or discredit. All this Gilt did because conning and outsmarting people is his idea of fun.
  • Many of the villains of Atlas Shrugged are the Robber Baron variety with an emphasis of power (or 'pull') over money, complete with public welfare projects in order to smooth over the various crimes they commit. The main example is probably Orren Boyle, an industrialist who uses his close contacts with various Corrupt Politicians to steal his competitor Hank Rearden's innovations.
  • This occurs many times in the Destroyer. The example that comes to mind is the Executive of the Vox network trying to take over a rival via using the Evil AI FRIEND.
  • The emissaries from the Western Galactic Empire in Robert Zubrin's The Holy Land, who arrange for the export of helicity from Earth. They seem like average sorts until it becomes obvious that the technology they help Earth import in exchange is used to murder hundreds of billions of innocent people and transform America into a totalitarian regime, and yet their biggest worry is the imminent formation of a Space OPEC that cuts into profit margins.
  • Guilder Worlin in the third book of Gaunt's Ghosts, who doesn't hesitate to murder anyone who gets wind of his illegal operations and inadvertently leaves the door open for an invasion of the city.
  • Battlefield Earth's Psychlos have a disproportionate number of corrupt corporate executives: Big Bad Terl's whole plan is to get access to some gold off the company records, and is able to blackmail gain "leverage" over his boss by exposing the latter's embezzlements. Their race even has company regulations allowing planetary overseers to take whatever actions deemed necessary to ensure a profit. Of course, anyone who is actually caught embezzling corporate profits is executed.
  • Felix Jongleur, founder and owner of J Corp in Tad Williams' Otherland, seems to feel that it's his right as the oldest living human being to use his financial power to find a way to cheat death, regardless of the cost in terms of money, lives, or morality.
  • In Tom Holt's J.W. Wells & Co. series, many of the members of the board of executives of the eponymous company are like this, and since the company supplies magical services to anyone able to pay enough, the members of the company often have supernatural powers themselves. Both Professor van Spee and Judy di Castel'bianco try to take over the world before being neutralized by the hero, and Dennis Tanner is universally regarded as a highly unscrupulous jerk, though not as evil as some of his colleagues. The latest book, The Better Mousetrap features another corrupt executive from a rival company, who has people killed on a regular basis until she is sent back in time and her magical abilities are neutralized.
  • In Sebastian Faulks' A Week In December, John Veals may qualify, given that he's only out to make as much money as possible and to do it legally - ethics aside.
  • Able Team. Unomondo, who controls powerful business interests in Central and South America, funds Banana Republics and death squads, and is the Big Bad behind a neo-Nazi conspiracy with sympathisers in the US Government itself. Probably the closest thing that series had to a recurring villain.
  • Maximum Ride. Every antagonist in the series is a shady business executive.
  • The Camp Half-Blood Series
  • Subverted in Fletch and the Widow Bradley by Gregory McDonald, where Fletch is drawn into a story that seems to revolve around a Corrupt Corporate Executive but really, the lies, half-truths and doctored documents all turn out to be the result of the CEO's convoluted personal life, for which Fletch and the reader feels empathy.
  • Pavel Kazakov from the Dale Brown novel Warrior Class. A Russian oilman with the goal of building an oil pipeline in the Balkans as part of re-strengthening the Fatherland, he is feared even by the Russian higher-ups, rumoured to be a powerful Mafiya boss and druglord and certainly in possession of much violent power.
    • Harold Kingman from Act of War, a slimy and well-connected oilman whose facilities eco-terrorist group GAMMA seek to wreck. When he tries to get Jason Richter and the CID technology into his hands, Jason's refusal is empathic.
  • Marc Vilo (and to some degree, the rest of the Board of Governors) in The Acts of Caine.
  • Jon Spiro from the Artemis Fowl: The Eternity Code, has an alliance with the Chicago mob, and states that he intends to spend the last 20 years of his life bleeding the planet dry with the stolen 'Cube' supercomputer; once he's gone, the world can go to hell with him for all he cares.
  • The Privy Council of the Sten Series is a group of CCE's, whose ruthless money-grubbing is eclipsed only by their perverse proclivities.
  • Occasional antagonists in the Bolo universe.
  • Hollow Places mentions the upper management of Shore State Corrections. They institute policies that purposefully foster recidivism in their prisons in order to increase profits.
  • The Darhel, from John Ringo's Legacy of the Aldenata, are a race of CCEs. Human CCEs also are seen here and there in the series.
  • Rod Portlyn from the Starfleet Corps of Engineers series. How corrupt is he? He deliberately poisoned a colony world to induce crop failures, then came in to buy the increasingly useless land. He kept the farmers on as workers and thus earned their gratitude by "saving them" from bankruptcy. He turned another world in the same star system into a dumping ground for garbage, and he later tries to murder its population. All in the name of profit, obviously.
  • Red Hammernut from Carl Hiaasen's Skinny Dip. Hires everyone from crooked hydrologists to hitmen to keep his farming operation looking clean enough on paper that he doesn't have to spend money on pollution controls.
  • Sir John Charnage from the Young Bond novel Double or Die is an owner of several failing businesses, and plans to leave England to Soviet Union, taking revolutionary technology with him. His late father was even worse, as he let the men working in his factories work in inhuman conditions, and used his connections in high places to keep it that way for better profit.
  • Xanatos, Qui-Gon's former apprentice in Jedi Apprentice, is the head of Offworld, one of the largest mining consortiums in the galaxy. Under his control, Offworld has stripped numerous planets of their resources, blackmailed and/or bribed governments, and backed criminal politicians on several planets. Its front company UniFy in The Day of Reckoning is no better, keeping the population of Telos pacified with Bread and Circuses while they stripmine the planets holy spaces, and contaminate their sacred pools with chemicals. And that's leaving out the fact that Offworld is also involved with the illegal slave trade, and Xanatos' terrorist vendetta against the Jedi.
  • Morgan Sloat in The Talisman at first. However, the truth is slightly more complicated and involves alternate realities.
  • There are many of these in Daemon, working with unsavoury Private Military Contractors to try and preserve the status quo.
  • Transformers: TransTech had a prose story titled "I, Lowtech", which has protagonist Bulletbike, whose only redeeming quality is that he's technically never broken a law or directly injured anyone. Then he gets worse. His Arch-Enemy Ego is no better, and it's implied There Are No Good Executives period.
  • Transformers: Shattered Glass has the human R.J. Blackrock, who turns out to be Playing Both Sides so he can later kill all of the Cybertronians for his own benefit.
  • Max Barry's Machine Man has The Manager, head of Better Future. The bastard even smirkingly admits to putting an EMP in Lola's heart. Well. At least before Dr. Neumann kills him via Destination Defenestration.
  • The Onceler from The Lorax.
  • Moon Base Alpha: Space tourist Lars Sjoberg is an ultra wealthy tycoon back on Earth who has been accused of breaking regulations and bribing people hundreds of time. He isn't any better during the main series.
  • Peter Sharpe of the Prometheus Corporation, from The Chronicles of Professor Jack Baling, describes the Prometheans as shepherds and humanity as sheep. Two guesses on how much value he assigns to the lives of people who aren't "enlightened."
  • Year Zero is pretty much one long scathing (albeit amusing) indictment on the music industry and those in charge.
  • Airframe turns out to have two in John Marcer and Bob Richman.
  • Billington in The Jennifer Morgue. This is quite logical since the book is an homage to the James Bond books, where the Big Bad is usually a megalomaniac Corrupt Corporate Executive.
  • World War Z features Breckenridge Scott, inventor and vendor of Phalanx, a purported "cure" for African rabies (actually the zombie virus). It was actually a placebo, and he openly gloats about fooling most of the population into believing his rabies vaccine was a cure.
  • The Divide: Snakeweed runs a potion company that considers proper testing a complete waste of time, leading to treatments that work great on one mystical species and are usually lethal to others.
  • Paranoia: Nick Wyatt, head of Wyatt industries, is this personified, as he sees any and all competition, in any field, as something to be conquered, to the point of firing those he disagrees with. He also is not above using blackmail and extortion to get his employees to engage in illegal activities such as corporate espionage, burglary, theft, and breaking and entering, or face being sent to prison for at least 20 years and your life ruined.
  • In Comrade Death, Sarek eventually goes from a Punch-Clock Villain Arms Dealer — selling weapons because his employer now manufactures weapons — to the head of the Krieger Mega-Corp and sole producer of arms in the world. All wars benefit Sarek and he sinks his vast fortune into developing new and horrific chemical weapons, even making vague promises to someday provide Not-Hitler with the firepower to blow up the world.
  • Much Ado About Grubstake: Railroad and mining magnate Sidney Lockwood loves firing people face-to-face to take pleasure in their despair, achieves his goals by blackmail, arson, and other such activities, and is contemptuous of Morgan's refusal to only check the mines that he owns for Osblindium rather than trespassing on holdout claims.
  • Fashion designer Gordon Steuber in Mary Higgins Clark's While My Pretty One Sleeps. He hires illegal immigrant women (some of whom are underage) to make his clothes in sweatshops, he cheats on his income taxes, and he smuggles heroin in the linings of his clothes. He's also suspected of murdering one woman and arranging a hit on another. He turns out to be innocent of the last two things. But he's still a thoroughly nasty character; when police ask him about the planned hit, he says he has nothing to do with it, "but what a great idea."
  • People that saw the first Jurassic Park film and decided to give the book a try got a very rude awakening when they learn that John Hammond of the book was this trope. He makes no qualms about blackmailing his employees, cutting costs, and endangering people if it means he can open a park (or three) and make a profit out of it. His greed and unwillingness to see how much of a failure the park is eventually got him killed when he was attacked by a herd of compys. Compare that to the film, where Hammond comes across more as a Well-Intentioned Extremist (he genuinely wanted children to experience the same wonder and excitement he feels about dinosaurs, but he still cuts corners to try to speed up the opening day, but is willing to disown the park when he sees how much of a disaster the park had become).
  • The Running Man: Damon Killian is the smarmy head of the Games Company, overseeing the Immoral Reality Shows that are broadcast to the poor populations to distract them from how the network is poisoning the air.
  • The Craft Sequence involves a lot of shady business dealings, but Tan Batac in Last First Snow takes the cake. He engineers a conflict that turns a peaceful protest movement into a bloodbath... to get his company out of a bad insurance deal.
  • The Mark and the Void: Porter Blankely, who has left every previous institution in ruins while escaping with huge profits. At the Bank of Torabundo, his "counterintuitive" ways encourage everyone to take on unreasonable amounts of risk. Eventually it is revealed that Blankely tricked his employees into purchasing a lot of worthless holdings from his previous company through a complex scheme that bankrupts the Bank of Torabundo but greatly enriches him.
  • Billy Clyde in Anna Boekelheide's Web Serial Fishbowl.
  • The Extreme Monsters book series had Damon Christopher, money-grubbing owner of Pendant Enterprises who saw the athletes playing for his team Team Pendant as expendable and willing to do anything unethical or illegal to line his pockets. The book Battling Bigfoot even had his actions endanger a tribe of Bigfoot, with him not caring at all about their plight.
  • Race to the Sun: Mr Charles is the CEO of a huge gas and oil corporation, seems to be friends with the President and his company destroys the environment (not to mention building a pipeline on Native land) and is the target of many protest actions. And he's also a man-eating monster who kidnaps gifted children to work for him.
  • Preston Exley is the much-respected father of LAPD hero Ed Exley in L.A. Confidential. He's also a corrupt businessman who pursues crooked real estate deals that result in death and destruction. He shows up in the prequel Perfidia where he...pursues crooked real estate deals that result in death and destruction.
  • These Broken Stars: Roderick LaRoux owns LaRoux Industries and is probably the richest man in known space. He's also experimenting on extradimensional beings as a power source and to use their Mind Control abilities for his own ends, and has used his wealth and connections to have at least one person killed.
  • The Cat Who... Series: Don Exbridge, founder of XYZ Enterprises, is usually regarded this way In-Universe. It's proven correct when book #23 (The Cat Who Smelled a Rat) sees him caught out as participating in a Ponzi scheme.
  • In Metaltown, Josef Hampton has dozens of shady deals going on behind the scenes to keep the factories running and his profits secure, and was behind the deaths of Ty's parents, ordered her death as well, and has kept the war going well beyond a natural endpoint. He's so rich and powerful that the characters can't really stand against him, and at most can force some concessions.
  • Tower of Somnus: The default. The Earth is ruled by megacorporations, and while it's supposed to be a meritocracy, it's blatantly obvious that everything is heavily weighted in favor of the powerful. Even ignoring that, the highest levels only get where they are by breaking the already unbalanced laws, stealing from and assassinating each other.
  • Who Moved My Soap: The whole premise of the book is as a guidebook for a recently convicted one of these to serve out their prison sentence.
  • Darker Than You Think: Preston Troy is a millionaire and owner of the Clarendon Star, a local newspaper. He's cheated on his wife with countless women, is heavily involved with the crooked city government, and uses his paper to produce biased propaganda in the hopes of getting an equally crooked friend elected Senator. He's also a loyal member of April's coven.

  • 'Bad Businessman' by the Squirrel Nut Zippers.
  • Iron Maiden's "El Dorado" is mostly told through the point of view of one of those.
  • UFO's "A Self Made Man" is told through the point of view of one of those.
  • The eponymous character of Ray Stevens' "Mr. Businessman."
    "You can wheel and deal the best of them/Steal it from the rest of them/You know the score/Their ethics are a bore."
  • The eponymous bourgeois sociopath of Warren Zevon's 'Mr Bad Example' has a phase of this in Australia, stealing the wages of the aboriginals he has hired to work the opal mines, after previous occupations as an altar boy (where he stole the collection), a carpet fitter (where he laid his clients' housewives and stole their furnishings), a lawyer (when he counselled all his clients to plead insanity), a hair replacer ('swindlin' the bald!'), and a gambler (where he lost all his hair replacement money, mugged a prostitute for her passport and her wig, and caught the midnight flight from Monte Carlo to Adelaide). The song ends with him having to flee another country, cash in hand.
    I bought a first-class ticket on Malaysian Air,
    And landed in Sri Lanka none the worse for wear,
    I'm thinking of retiring from all my dirty deals,
    I'll see you in the next life, wake me up for meals!
  • The titular character of "Robber Baron" by Voltaire. He sits in his tower, counting his gold, while the children working his factories lose body parts on the job and go hungry.
    What cold heartless beast
    Can sit and have his feast every night,
    While their plight's always in his sight?
  • The evils of corporate greed is a recurring theme in folk singer David Rovics' work, including the insanely catchy "Henry Ford Was a Fascist":
    Ford built tanks for the Nazis
    And the Nazis used those tanks
    To gun down lots of soldiers
    In the U.S. Army ranks
    Yes, Henry Ford was a fascist
    And a nasty one was he
    He'd build tanks for anyone
    For the proper fee
  • The Frank Zappa song "Uncle Bernie's Farm" on the album Absolutely Free is about a line of violent and ugly toys, with one lyric addressing that someone is despicable and heinous enough to allow the creation of such dangerous playthings.
    And smiling in his office is the creep who makes the toys

    Myths & Religion 
  • The Bible: You'd expect something Older Than Feudalism to be exempt from this trope, but in the Parable of the Shrewd Manager, a wasteful manager is told that he's going to be fired, so he needs to give an accounting of his management. While the audit was still going on, he cooked the books in such a way as to get on the good side of his master's debtors, so that they'd be grateful to that he could mooch off them after he's let off his current job.

  • In Popeye Saves the Earth, Bluto is a proud and unrepentant planet-destroying polluter with a cartel of toxic companies.
  • Heist!: Frank "Mr. Big" Bigelow is an extraordinarily rich executive who seizes control of Ocean City before the game begins. Local businesses and institutions are renamed after him (ranging from banks to shops to soda), while he bribes the police into serving his own interests.


    Pro Wrestling 
  • In the '80s, Ted DiBiase was one of the early examples of this trope in nationally televised wrestling. He was billed as the "Million Dollar Man" and paid André the Giant to win the WWF championship only to sell it to him immediately after the match. When the bought title was not recognized by the WWF, he declared himself the Million Dollar Champion and created his own Million Dollar Belt. He was also something of a Dastardly Whiplash, as at times he would engage in evil behaviour with no significant personal gain whatsoever, such as when he offered a young child $100 if he could dribble a basketball ten times without dropping it, then kicked the ball out of the child's hands halfway through.
  • Eric Bischoff crossed this with The Quisling when he joined the nWo at the end of the November 18, 1996 WCW Monday Nitro.
  • Vince McMahon became this as part of his heel turn following the Kayfabe Montreal Screwjob at Survivor Series 97, leading to him forming his own Power Stable The Corporation.
  • Don Callis played this role twice. In ECW, he was Cyrus, who was supposed to be the face of TNN and who was supposedly trying to bury ECW and get it thrown off the Network, which was also the name of his power stable. Under his own name in TNA, he played a "Management Consultant" who was looking to oust Director of Authority Erik Watts from his position and who did everything in his power to make life difficult for Jerry Lynn.
  • Victoria played this role when she was the Commissioner of WWE's developmental promotion Memphis Championship Wrestling in 2001 since she was still competing and working as a heel manager for Steve Bradley.
  • Stevie Richards played it for laughs when he was the self-appointed General Manager of Sunday Night Heat, which he had renamed Stevie Night Heat and was supposedly the head of "StevieCorp." His Catchphrase for this was "ALL STEVIE! ALL NIGHT! NOTHING BUT HEAT!"
  • After his run in APA, Bradshaw became John "Bradshaw" Layfield (or "JBL") and, playing off his legitimate success in the stock market, became a J.R. Ewing-inspired robber baron who did anything he could to capture and then keep the WWE Championship, keeping a stranglehold on the belt for nine months before losing to rising star John Cena. JBL often belittled anyone below his perceived class status and often threw his money around to get what he wanted. This was exemplified in his early 2009 run when he employed a broke Shawn Michaels to help him take the WWE Championship from Cena. It didn't work.
  • Paul Heyman played this role as the General Manager of SmackDown!.
  • John Laurinaitis as the general manager of both Raw and SmackDown!, depicted as the leader of an evil outfit known as "People Power," which consists of Laurinaitis, David Otunga, Eve Torres, and Big Show.
  • After Daniel Bryan won and immediately lost WWE's title belt came Triple H and his "Best For Business" regime, officially known as "The Authority", put together to ensure Daniel Bryan would keep losing.
  • In 2014, Joshi fed REINA hired "The World Famous" Kana as a consultant, because every child of Fighting Opera HUSTLE apparently had to trust her at least once. Naturally she instructed them to reward her friends, punish wrestlers in their way and bribed her way to victory in the ring, gradually taking over the promotion.


  • Dino Attack RPG:
    • A flashback sequence reveals a story involving two such people going head-to-head. Uærlig Sindstorme, CEO of Mindstorms, Inc., decides to hire a team of small-time crooks to do dirty work against rival Dacta Corp. in order to lessen their competition. Meanwhile, Edward Korrupte, CEO of Dacta Corp., hires infamous assassin Silencia Venomosa to infiltrate Mindstorms, Inc. The results are... not pretty.
    • Implied to be the case with Mr. Bonaparte. He prescribes his patients with "classified" medications, but we have not seen anyone at Napoleon XIV Mental Institution whose mental health has improved under his supervision. Napoleon XIV also has a history of security issues, and he is willing to lie about them to avoid bad press.
    • Dr. Walter Breen also has many traits of a Corrupt Corporate Executive, especially in his days as administrator of Brick League United. Like Edward Korrupte, he was willing to hire Silencia Venomosa to take down his competition.

    Tabletop Games 
  • In Misspent Youth by Robert Bohl, if the group creates a Corporate villain, then it will no doubt include corrupt and rotten CEOs. It's a game where you play bomb-throwing anarchist teenagers who are out to upend a Dystopia that has it out for them personally.
  • Anyone in a CEO position at Pentex in Werewolf: The Apocalypse. Those not in the know merely believe that the company plays fast and loose with environmental regulations and human rights laws to deliver cheap-to-produce product to a demanding audience. Those in the Inner Circle know that the company is actually an extension of the Wyrm, the universal embodiment of decay and corruption and that their products are stuffed full of Bane spirits that play on humanity's negative emotions — and they don't care if the company makes a profit or not, because they're all licking the Wyrm's filth-encrusted bootsnote .
    • Technically, anyone not in the know shouldn't realize Pentex even exists as an entity; it should just look like a bunch of shady but independent companies that are all in each others' pockets.
  • Orpheus, also from the Old World of Darkness, has a number of standout examples among the ghost-tech corporations: the drug-manufacturing head of Terrel & Squib, the ex-blood diamond baron that leads the mercenaries of Next World, and the unethical experimenting of the founders of Orpheus itself. The corebook also wryly notes Orpheus' complex backs up to one of Pentex's.
  • Cyberpunk 2020 has the character class "Corporate". While you are not required to be corrupt, is there really any fun in role-playing a normal executive?note  The best in-game example may be Saburo Arasaka, CEO and major shareholder of the Arasaka corporation, who is using it in the pursuit of Japan's world domination.
  • The various corporations and megacorporations that run much of the show in Shadowrun.
    • Out of all the Corps in the Sixth World, Aztechnology takes the cake. Not only are they the largest practitioners of Blood Magic in the world (A type of magic so evil that before Dunkelzahn sacrificed himself to fuel a Mana-Absorbing Artifact, every spell a blood mage cast would bring the End of the World as We Know It a bit closer),but the board of directors also has connections with The Horrors! They've come incredibly close to having an Omega Order called out on them by the Corporate Court, but their squeaky clean public image has allowed them to prosper. After all, who would believe that the company behind the Stuffer Shack would want to bring about the end of the world?
  • The Chrysalis Corporation in CthulhuTech takes it to a whole new level, insofar as their Director is actually Nyarlathotep. Don't think anyone else is gonna be toppin' that one any time soon.
  • Forgotten Realms in its Cloak and Dagger lore has a lot of big traders and merchant cabals ranging from unscrupulous to mafia-like to fiendish.
  • Eberron has many opportunities for this, since the dragonmarked houses are essentially magical Zaibatsu.
  • Rogue Traders of the Warhammer 40,000 universe can often become this, being fabulously wealthy merchant princes given free rein to orchestrate business ventures in the far reaches of space by Imperial bureaucracy. This being the universe that it is, even the Honest Corporate Executive examples of Rogue Traders will often treat employees as expendable and exploit entire planets for profit in the name of capitalism. It's just that there are far worse Traders that will hire incredibly dangerous aliens like Orks and Dark Eldar, or sacrifice the men under their command just because they can. That is to say, Honest Rogue Traders are zealots of the Imperium of Man and Corrupt Rogue Traders are zealots of their pockets. It's all relative, really.

  • Friedrich Dürrenmatt's dark comedy Frank The Fifth is about a bank that is owned and operated by solely such people. The bank uses all kinds of illegal methods and routinely has customers and employees murdered.
  • The board of directors of General Products in The Solid Gold Cadillac, composed of four stuffed shirts named T. John Blessington, Alfred Metcalfe, Warren Gillie, and Clifford Snell.
  • Caldwell B. Caldwell from Urinetown. His Urine Good Company forces people to pay steep fees to use public restrooms (the only kind that exist anymore), and arrests anybody caught peeing without paying. A subversion in that everyone dies as soon as he's overthrown since his policies actually kept the water shortage from getting out of control.
  • Brook Lansdale in Allegro, a soap manufacturer who may not be the nominal executive of the city hospital but has enough authority to promote his sycophants and fire anyone he doesn't like. He's not so interested in pursuing patients who aren't wealthy but does take an interest in the protagonist's wife.
  • Phil Romano in That Championship Season is a strip-mining mogul who gives frequent kickbacks to local authorities; he made a significant campaign donation to help his former basketball teammate George Sitkowski become mayor in exchange for generous terms on the land lease for his mines, and when it looks as though George's re-election bid will fail, he tries making a similar donation to his opponent (who refuses).
  • Marion from Owners is a ruthless broker who buys up cheap buildings in an up and coming area in London, forces out tenants who are very poor and helpless and then she profits from the high-end and expensive housing.

    Theme Parks 
  • Cedar Fair Entertainment: Maverick, according to Steel Vengeance, was once an illegal moonshiner, before moving to Frontier Town and founding a mining company. Aside from using his illicit moonshine income to start up the company, he also failed to compensate Digger after a workplace accident and bribed his own brother to stay silent about the aforementioned moonshine business.

    Visual Novels 
  • Richard, the CEO of Nanotech in Bionic Heart, bribes the police into pursuing Tanya (the main character's android love interest) as a fugitive, illegally manufactures androids, and worst of all preserves people’s bodies so that he may place their brains into android bodies to do his bidding.
  • Dennis’s dad from Double Homework can qualify. He’s running a scam online casino, and Dennis states that he sometimes orders drugs for “corporate functions.”
  • The Fruit of Grisaia: Both Irisu Kiyoka and Sakaki Michiaki hold really high positions in their respective companies, and neither of them is afraid to use that power in any way necessary, to further their own interests.
  • The CEO of Cradle Pharmaceuticals in Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors. Hongou recreated the Nonary Game to research telepathy, this time using children as the participants. When forced to participate in the new game in the present day, he decides Murder Is the Best Solution and plots to kill everyone involved and escape alone.
  • Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney:
    • Redd White of Bluecorp in Case 1-2, head of a big information firm, and rotten to the core. He would use his company to collect information on people and blackmail them for money or whatever else he wants. He then murders Mia for trying to expose him, pins it on her sister Maya, and even tries to frame Phoenix, Maya's defense attorney, for the murder as punishment for daring to stand up to him.
    • Kane Bullard, the Asshole Victim in Case 3-2, used his own company as a way to gather and sell information about his own clients for a profit.
    • Ace Attorney Investigations has Ernest Amano, part of Quercus Alba's smuggling ring, and a doting father who tried to use his vast fortune to stop the police from finding evidence to convict his son Lance (who was indeed the guilty party).
  • Shall We Date?:
  • Noboru Ishimaru, the CEO of the Sumii Group from Spirit Hunter: NG, is a real piece of work, as are some of his employees. They're part of the 5/5 Club, which embezzles money out of the company and various other illegal transactions. It's also revealed that he covered up for his son when the latter started a department fire store, killing twenty people. When a dietwoman tried to expose them, they brutally murdered her, disposed of her body, and covered up all of their crimes.

    Web Animation 
  • ATTACK on MIKA: Eiji's father is a CEO who abuses his wife into doing the house chores even when sick, and hates his adopted son Eiji, favoring the boy's adoptive sister Sayuki for her good grades. When his wife got bedridden, he decides to marry his secretary and kick her (and Eiji) out of the house. It is revealed he had a history of forging documents and bribing people for his company.
  • Benjamin Palmer and Lear Dunham from Broken Saints.
  • Zero Punctuation mocks this trope with Weyland-Yutani from the Alien franchise. Apparently the decades spent and trillions they've wasted trying to acquire the xenomorphs will somehow be balanced out by the amount they can make trying to sell them to the military industrial complex, assuming they can even be controlled.
    Yahtzee: Christ knows how Weyland-Yutani spent their time before the aliens were discovered. Probably threw children on top of piles of burning money!
  • Malcolm Hargrove from Red vs. Blue; he is largely a background character until Season 12, where his company Charon Industries is financing a civil war on the planet Chorus in an effort to have everyone on it kill eachother so Charon can get full access to the vast quantities of alien technology on Chorus. Also overlaps with Corrupt Politician, as Hargrove is the chairman of the UNSC Oversight Subcommittee and launched an investigation into Project Freelancer which, while revealing some of the highly illegal activities Freelancer was engaged in, was partially a cover so Hargrove could seize some of the experimental technology the Project was dealing with.
  • RWBY: Weiss Schnee's father, Jacques, is one. In Volume 1, Blake states that the Schnee Dust Company is infamous for its poor labor laws and questionable business partners. In Volume 2, Weiss admits that under her father's control, the company has gone in a "Morally grey" direction. In Volume 4's World of Remnant segment on the Schnee Dust Company, Qrow states that Jacques has made the SDC more profitable than ever, but at the cost of its soul, and employs in constant PR scams to stay in power. During Volume 5, Weiss even stated that Jacques stated he only married her mother for the Schnee family name and the company itself. Among the people who were victims of the company under Jacques' leadership were Illia Amitola's parent's who died in a mining accident with her human friends laughing at it causing her to join the White Fang and Adam Taurus who's face was branded with the company's "S.D.C." logo. Following a dust embargo placed by Ironwood, Jacques considers running for a seat on the Kingdom's council while considering laying off most of his workers before deciding against it since he needed their votes to win the council seat. Arthur Watts helps Jacques with both by rigging the seat in his favor so Jacques can lay them off without consequence.
    Qrow: Cheap labor, dangerous working conditions, doing whatever it takes to destroy the competition... Jacques Schnee doesn't care about people. He cares about winning.
  • Lucks from Meta Runner, the CEO of the megacorporation TASCorp. In his words, when he sees an opportunity to strengthen his company, he takes it, willing to go extreme lengths to take it, especially in the case of protaganist Tari and her mysterious ability to warp into video games.

    Web Comics 
  • Morgause in the modern arc of Arthur, King of Time and Space is a mild example. And Arthur's trying to convince her to be even less of one.
  • Businessmen in Mandatory Roller Coaster are often depicted as demons wearing navy blue suits.
  • Freefall:
    • Mr. Kornada is willing to use his (temporary) authority at Ecosystems Unlimited to pervert a program intended to address an issue with the robots on Jean purely for the sake of personal profit, even if the perversion would effectively wipe out over 450 million sapient (if robotic) beings and turn them into mindless automatons, and could well doom the colony that relies on those beings for terraforming.
    • Mr. Ishiguro, Kornada's nephew, is somewhat less corrupt (and definitely much saner about it), but he's not entirely moral either. He's still someone who prefers to have the entire colony under his thumb until the debt is paid and gets nervous when it isn't, his resume outright calls him "a little bit evil", and the only reason he agreed with the plan to give his company's manufactured robots freedom and rights is because he's getting some serious cash out of having them as customers. He's someone who wants to keep the current corporate system stable as it is (rather than collapsing horribly), so that his grandsons can keep making money out of everyone else's grandsons.
  • Anyone that works for FOX in Ansem Retort but particularly Ansem and Vexen. They secured the rights to Watchmen just to remind people of how evil they are.
  • Any member of Tera Corp from Antihero for Hire almost certainly qualifies. However, it is worth noting that they have had a good amount of infighting. It would seem that one Corrupt Corporate Executive is not loyal to any other one.
  • The RIAA in Quentyn Quinn, Space Ranger..... who are the real-life RIAA, drawn out to their logical conclusion. They were so avaricious that they took to scanning dying people's brains on the grounds that their memories contained copyrighted materials. It did not end well for them.
  • Vexxarr used "Is this the same Sony that..?" query for an Even Evil Has Standards joke.
  • The three directors of the Inter-Fiend Cooperation Commission in The Order of the Stick are all styled after executives of hip new startup companies, using corporate buzzwords ('A community-based grassroots organization dedicated to building bridges between the diabolic, daemonic and demonic populations') and adding disclaimers to their offers for souls, and they are directors of the IFCC, complete with business cards. While they make for good funny moments, they are still fiends and will screw you over with their deals.
  • Help Desk has Mr. Bunny, the Hoppy Computer Guy, Dark Lord of Microsoft Expy Ubersoft, along with his doubles at SCO and the RIAA. Being evil is what Ubersoft is about. That's why they've never had more than one help desk employee authorized to actually help people at any time (and he quit).
  • In Sinfest, several characters such as Mickey Mouse, Bugs Bunny, Tom the Cat. Homer Simpson and Charlie Brown appear as leaders of different major crime families, with the Devil as ruling Don of the Five Families.
  • In Kevin & Kell, there's R.L., CEO of Herd Thinners, later joined by his wife (Kevin's ex) Angelique. Angelique seems to be the more corrupt of the two, as she did sell out the rest of the rabbits and is more scheming, while R.L.'s corruptness is tempered by, of all tropes, Brilliant, but Lazy: he shot down both world conquest and a racketeering scheme because it'd be too much work. (However, he's become a lot more corrupt now that Kell has established a rival company. For what it's worth, one comic classified R.L as Neutral Evil while Angelique was classified as Chaotic Evil. Ironically, the one time they were jailed (for overstating production), they were innocent of the crime (being set up by a disgruntled ex-employee as revenge for getting fired).
  • The Adventures of Gyno-Star features a shadowy cabal of corrupt corporate executives who plot to "eliminate" Gyno-Star for her meddling ways.
  • Sluggy Freelance:
    • Every member of Hereti Corp is one of these. Their company goal is world domination, after all.
    • And now there's brutal industrialist Crustro and Mad Scientist Dr. Nofun, of their own corporations.
  • Pierce from Sturgeon's Law is a former corporate executive now part of a corrupt company trying to take over the world. There’s a possibility that some of his namesake company's products may contain babies.
  • Questionable Content gave us Beatrice Chatham, Hannelore's mother and a woman who openly laments that the days when you could topple a Mega-Corp with a few transsexual prostitutes and a Polaroid camera are over.
  • Drugs and Wires has Marilyn Hope-Fokker. A grate-A vulture-capitalist, she acquires an agricultural facility in Nebraska and forces its employees to have a bake-off to avoid having their jobs outsourced or downsized. When she's given a dish that meets her approval and the hopeful employee asks if he can keep his job, she reveals that she's already sold the entire facility to a Taiwanese sexbot manufacturer and everyone is being terminated; the bake-off was just to scout employees for her new bakery subsidiary, since they'll be looking for a new job anyway. And this is all just in her introduction!
  • In The Letters Of The Devil, Rita Carey is the CEO of Carey Investments, and the story starts when Cedric receives a letter saying her entire business is a Ponzi scheme.
  • Weak Hero:
    • Yongbae is the head of a construction company and will go to any lengths to ensure its success, whether it's sending out hooligans to threaten other businesses or hiring goons to rough up the kids who stand in his way.
    • The head of Yeongdeungpo, Chungil Lee, is completely transparent about how he only cares for profits, and is content with letting Donald, a prodigal gang leader, take charge of the business' affairs.
  • Grrl Power: Deus, of Machina Industries, has a dim view of this type, claiming they only look to "the next quarter", but he plans "in decades".
  • The Man in Grey in Jenny and the Multiverse is primarily introduced as the head of the Altern Corporation, which apparently has a bad enough reputation that Jenny wanted nothing to do with them, and argued with Laura about her decision to accept funding for them, even before he personally comes after her in Chapter 2 via Nowhere.

    Web Original 
  • The Onion: "'Layoffs Are Necessary If We Want to Keep the Lights On,' Says CEO Halfway Through Tasting Menu"
  • In Arcana Magi, Oryn Zentharis, Vyndor, and The Board of Directors of Avalon Tech Enterprises want to use the Sentinels to dominate the economy and control the world.
  • Darryl Walcutt, in the Whateley Universe. He's suspected of belonging to the Brotherhood of the Bell. His daughter Tansy is the supervillainess Solange, and we know he has illegally used her Psi talents for corporate espionage. And probably blackmail.
  • Tim Sullivan from Avalon's Reign runs the corporation Sullivan Detainment, specializing in private prisons. He has no problem ordering the death of a politician who questions his business practices. On a smaller scale, Dirk Chambers, the manager of one of those prisons, is a drug addict who actually arranges for said politician's demise.
  • One of the episodes from the fictional second season of Challenge Of The Gobots that was described in Cy-Kill's Character Blog Renegade Rhetoric was "Bears and Bulls", where the Renegades conspired with a wealthy industrialist named Drake J. Hinkleford IV in a scheme that involved buying out every company in the country and using the obtained control over the economy for nefarious purposes.
  • Pretending to Be People features Ferguson Beans, who not only runs a major company involved in government conspiracies, but trafficks in cocaine, uses child labor, and exploits loopholes in election laws to vote in two counties' elections.
  • Tina Johnson From Welcome to Mountport Is a wealthy business woman who is self-admittiedly destined to be mean and finds it to be fun. In fact it's stated that Tina uses cheap construction Materials in the building of her Skyscraper out of pure spite for local building regulations.
  • WE'LL BE RIGHT BACK.: Donovan MacNeil, CEO of MacNeil Tech, could possibly be one. While he does sound concerned over what happened to the little girl who had a seizure in "Evidence Capture (2003)", the wanted poster listing him as "armed and dangerous" in one of the ZIP folders seems to suggest he's up to no good.

    Web Videos 
  • Dr. Leonard J Alderman from LG15: the resistance, who doesn't hesitate to steal, kidnap, or torture providing it furthers the company's aims. He claims to be doing the world a service, but it's pretty clear he's really only interested in making a profit.
  • The Hasbro Guy from the sequel to Three In The Afternoon, who's behind convincing Lucas and his corporations to mass-produce and sell lightsabers.
  • In The Cartoon Man, Simon is a small-time version of this, hoping to exploit Roy and Karen's findings for his own gain at least until he becomes a straight-up Dastardly Whiplash cartoon villain, at which point his plans become much bigger.
  • Climate Town: The oil industry and coal mining companies' corruption and abuse of their workers and ability to pay off government officials and produce misinformation to ensure the public doesn't pay too closely to their true actions is brought up on several occasions.
  • In Game Grumps, Danny is learning about the Zelda convention of cutting down plants to get random drops (typically money). After discussing it a bit, Dan realizes that he's starting to sound like this trope.
    Danny: Oh God, what kind of jaded person have I become? [gruff] Burn the flower beds, there might be money underneath!!
  • Charles-Antoine Donteuil, the creator of the game in which Noob is set, qualifies for the money-making variant. One of his hidden marketing ploys is behind one of the major elements of the setting, to the point that knowledge of it becoming public is the cause of the first Wham Episode of the story.
  • The Angry Joe Show has Corporate Commander, who's basically Cobra Commander if he was the CEO of a video game company. He mainly partakes in developing overpriced, poorly made games and locking content behind downloadable content and loot boxes.
  • The Big Bad of the Pokémon Fakemon region The Kaskade Region is Tom Bezzle, CEO of Amaze-All. Though devoted to improving the lot of humanity, his idea of doing so is to make his Mega-Corp the biggest and most expansive in the world, and does so by means of listening in on the public with his products, buying out news companies that criticize him (like accusing him of increasing unemployment levels), and even seeks to control the region's Bizarre Seasons by capturing its local Legendaries.
  • The Stupendium has cosplayed as many of these characters in his music videos based on video games. Notable examples include Mr. House, Fate, and Tom Nook; as well as his board gamer persona "The Chairman of the Board." As stated in the description for "The Fine Print":
  • The Warp Zone: Dick Richards, portrayed as working as an executive for a number of media companies such as Warner Bros, Paramount, and especially Disney, qualifies. In his more recent videos, he details how he pulls the strings behind movies such as Sonic the Hedgehog to make as much money as possible no matter how low-quality or cheap his plans are and how they effect the consumers, who he sees as dumb sheep that will watch whatever is put on a screen.
  • Epic Rap Battles of History: In the battle between Stan Lee and Jim Henson, the two of them actually put aside their differences... only for Walt Disney to enter as the corporate overlord who owns the rights to not only both of their respective IPs but also Epic Rap Battles of History itself (through Disney's ownership of Maker Studios, the show's producers). He promptly puts Lee and Henson to work in his "empire of joy".
  • SMPLive: Schlatt is a money-hungry "businessman" who runs a corporation that primarily focuses on a cryptocurrency exit scam. He and his business partner (and the company's co-owner) Connor are not above using less than legal means in order to ensure a business deal works out.
    • In one instance, he and Connor manage to convince Wilbur to steal diamonds from a police station just so he could buy their cryptocurrency, while also blackmailing him using the fact that they saw him with golden apples (which are illegal on the server).


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Robber Baron


ERB Walt Disney's verse

Walt Disney, being portrayed as an anthropomorphic personification of the Disney company, is shown as a terrific, fearful businessman who will buy Henson and Lee's properties (and anyone else's for that matter) without any remorse

How well does it match the trope?

4.72 (25 votes)

Example of:

Main / CorruptCorporateExecutive

Media sources: