by Patty DeDominic
Santa Barbara based Business Consultant
Coach to high achieving boards and founders
This article is written in jest but the quesion is real and an agonizing one for many boards of directors, stockholders, entrepreneurial founders of non profits and foundations. Discernment is key here and since firing your CEO is something that you only do once or twice in your life (hopefully) it is more difficult for some than buying a house, a business or planning for a marriage or divorce. The process of analysing the costs and benefits can be agonizing but the time invested will be well worth it. We would all appreciate a magic pill, but in absence of that, I offer a litmus test in the form of a top ten list below.
The ripple effect of a poorly planned firing can wreak havoc thoughout your organization and will provide many unintended and expensive consequences. Done at the right time it can help your organization soar. Murphy's law will be at work, more like Murphy on steriods if you do it right. Please use my list below only as a tip off for more discussion and never do a termination without careful planning and legal advice.
Hiring and terminating CEOs is a topic I would like more of your input on.
Please let me hear your thoughts and share your stories. Has this happened to you? Or do you wish now that you would have fired your leader? Hindsight is supurb isn't it? (whether he/she was your employee or your boss!)
1. Missing Quarterly Projections 3 times in a row and not knowing why
2. Mass staff Defections/ 50% Staff turnover without pre planned exits
3. Loss of Top Five Customers or Donors (unless this was planned)
4. Litigation budget exceeds payroll costs
5. Government regulators are on a first name basis, unless a legitimate reason for close relations
6. His/Her cars (clothes/trophy spouse/golden parachutes) are flashier than the boards
7. Occupy Wall street folks have moved in and refuse to leave
8. The union has declared war for the third year in a row
9. Stockholders feels they would be better off buying Madoff’s package!
10. Rico charges are not dismissed in the first 60 days