“I hereby step down from my position on the grounds of having acted with the reckless abandon of a Trump son with an expense account in running a previously profitable company into bankrupt bedlam while simultaneously ruining dozens of lives and irreversibly harming the planet all within just a year’s work. My business buffoonery was outdone only by my appetite for gold-crusted white truffle shark fin soup, and I sincerely apologize to the interns I belittled for sport. Please, exchange my Christmas bonus for a vial of humility and shame.”
Said no CEO ever.
No matter how bewilderingly terrible the head of a company performed their job, you’ll almost always hear the same buzzwords on their way out the door: volatile market, personal reasons, responsibility to shareholders, tough decision, thank so and so, return to roots, etc., etc., I’m keeping the bonus.
A place for honesty a resignation letter is not.
Former 7-Eleven CEO Toshifumi Suzuki, however, offered a beacon of reasonable human conduct in his recent departure from the convenience store giant by placing all blame of a failed management reshuffle on himself.
On the reason for his stepping down, he simply said, “It is my lack of virtue and I am unbearably ashamed.”
Imagine that: the head of a multi-billion dollar accepting responsibility for falling short of his own high moral standards. He’s like the anti-Gregg Steinhafel, the former Target CEO who awarded himself a pay out higher than all laid off Canadian workers combined after performing his job no more admirably than a land tortoise.
Suzuki added that he wasn’t worthy of the job and didn’t name a successor.