I just finished reading the announcement about a CEO who is leaving his company. The reason given is “to spend more time with his family.” That’s right, blame it on the family! I wonder how his family feels about that. What if they don’t want him back?
I’ve read this same explanation so many times I wonder if there is a special holding area where families of executives wait to get reunited. It’s like that scene at the airport where you see someone for the first time after they’ve been away on a long trip. I can see Mom and the kids holding a sign that reads, “Welcome Home” ” How big is your Severance Package?”
It makes me think there must be a special camp where executives and their families go to get reacquainted. Maybe the families all live in the same development while they wait to be reunited. We could call it Executive Estates. It’s probably a safer to rent than to buy property.
I’ve been giving it some thought and when I leave my firm I’d like the announcement to read “is leaving to spend more time annoying his wife and to clean his garage.” I actually think it’s a little more believable – especially if you know what a fanatic I am about keeping my garage clean.
What are some other reasons executives could give when they announce their departure? I wonder if it’s possible for the professionals who write these announcements to be a little more creative. For example, so and so is leaving:
•To find their family that has moved out of state.
•To explore other unknown interests which we hope have nothing to do with running another company.
•To master the Sunday Sudoku.
•To help his family become more self sufficient and less needy so he can achieve greater success in the future.
•To rework their resume so the latest failure reads more like an amazing accomplishment.
•To obtain an even larger severance package from their next employer.
•To go into the witness protection program.
•To become an adjunct professor at a local B-school where they will share their secrets of success with aspiring young business leaders.
•To write a book and lecture about the mistakes they’ve seen other leaders make.
•To show everyone just how much they will be missed when they are gone.
•To renew their driver’s license since they will no longer have a company car and driver.
•To find other ways to advance their career besides succeeding in their current role.
•To find a more compatible executive assistant that will help them succeed in their next position. Let’s face it; we all know who really runs the company!
•To find an organization that is far more successful. Constant cost cutting and layoffs are a real downer and can ruin your weekends.
•To find an organization where so much isn’t expected – this allows more time to take advantage of that country club membership.
•How about, “so and so actually left the organization 3 months ago but we didn’t think anyone would notice so we waited until now to make the announcement.”
•To continue their search for greater self awareness and inner peace by meeting with Dr Phil once a week for the next 12 months.
•To find a family that is looking for a recently estranged executive that he can adopt. This will come in very handy at the next job!
•To go back to school so they don’t make the same mistakes a third or fourth time.
I don’t know about other executives, but with grown kids who are out of the house, spending more time with the family means only one thing for me – driving my wife crazy! After about a month of asking her “what are you doing” or “what do you want to do now” she will be ready to kick me out of the house. Her press release will read something like the following: “Bill is leaving so he can spend more time working – anywhere! Someone please take him before he sends me over the edge!”
See you back at the office.