It’s situations like this where even good people start to get pushed towards the dark side. CEO wants to date an employee, so waits until his divorce proceedings to start (started by his wife), asks for board permission, lets date resign from company, does not use any company assets, and gets fired anyways. Girlfriend was a middleaged, divorced mother of two, so nothing scandalous about it like other recent CEO stories.
It seems like the controversy arose because the relationship is suspected to have been going on for some time before the CEO’s disclosure. So, that would not really be full disclosure. I’m not sure if firing the guy was necessary, though apparently the board thinks so.
In general, I am divided about firing CEOs in general due to romantic misconduct. On one hand, yeah it’s a bit inappropriate to have relationships with people who work for you. On the other hand, if your CEO is so awesome and incredible, it’s inevitable that he will make vaginas explode wherever he goes. Can we really blame him for what happens next?
The good news, if your business is running really well and the board is happy with you, I’m pretty sure you can bang whomever you want so long as you keep it out of the news.
It’s when things aren’t going great and the board would rather see you go that they will use anything and everything to embarrass you out the door.
When I was in college I worked for a listed company. The exec in my department quietly resigned one day and everyone was pretty surprised.
Well, in any case, I got the skinny from one of the IT guys. The big wigs wanted her out for other reasons so they told the techies to scan her laptop and find something inappropriate, which they did. Pictures of her nude in S & M gear.
Did she get fired because she liked S&M? No. She got fired because they wanted her out. By wearing S&M gear she just gave them the perfect embarrassing pretext for firing her. Mistresses, drugs, drinking and dirty pictures on your laptop are all essentially the 2012 version of giving your boss your resignation letter to keep in their drawyer for whenever they want to use it.
Just a quick eyeball of the Stryker’s stock and I/S, they seemed to be doing ok, slightly underperformed S&P500 for the past 3 years, but nothing horrid and they’re still growing the top and bottom line.
The entire article only lists two negative things, one which is a $200 dinner that he expensed that people suspect was with the mistress/girlfriend and the other was part of the anonymous tip about unfair treatment that never seem to have gotten substantiated. As for the dinner, you could say that it was the beginning of a scandal, but let’s be real, if you were a big CEO, you could take any platonic friend for a dinner and just say its on you, no big deal.
I get that boards can fire whoever they want and they prob just didn’t like the guy, but this dirt that they’re digging up doesn’t even seem like dirt to me. Just have the guy come in, point out the coffee stain on his tie, and fire him if you want him out.
This is the way the world works, and I agree it sucks.
If your bosses like you, they can help cover your shortcomings, even relatively big ones.
If they don’t like you, they can magnify every small misstep you make and screw you.
They are fired because the second they begin a sexual relationship with a subordinate they expose the company to the risk of a sexual harassment lawsuit.