Had to go track down the thing I wrote when our last CEO left.
This was YET another all staff meeting. CEO and HR had decided that they were mandatory and would take roll.
After the first on the agenda talked on and on, the CEO was next to speak. Normally when he gets up, it is about budgets or some other items that he feels the need to start with at the beginning of time to present. Usually with the same slide shows. The Good News is that you can fill up your office bingo card(TM)
with his talks.
He stood up and started by saying that he had been to the board meeting last weekend and the early part of this week (well, yes we all knew that) and that at the meeting he had given them his resignation. EVERY JAW DROPPED. It isn't that he is well-loved, but none of us thought that he would leave voluntarily. And perhaps he didn't choose to leave voluntarily, but still.
This had been awful time at the office under his reign. And yes, he created a much better packet of benefits for us. But overall, within the 6 years that he was at our office it was constant stress and just an unhappy place to work. There are things that you can control and things that you can't control while working or running a company. Most of the things that were issues were actually of his makings.
*When CEO started, he brought in not only 4 VPs and some associate VPs but also some other cronies for the IT area. One of the new IT guys acted like if you didn't have a degree in computer sciences, you were hopeless. He was a bully in general. And frequently spoke in a condsending tone to people he thought were stupid (most everyone). He also threw people under the bus for mistakes he made. (Never got repremanded even when there was evidence he lied. Boss' pet) Mean IT guy left the company after 2-3 years complaining about working for dumb hicks. Then was confused with (the new) HR wouldn't hire him back.
Back to the CEO.
* About 2 year into his reign, he fired a dozen full time people and three part time folks with a Reduction In Force that he didn't even talk to the board or the VPs of departments. Just people he felt were extra. Most were admin level and a few mid-level directors or managers. The rest of the time he was here, you never knew if you would have a job at the end of the day or not.
* He made a big deal about keeping jobs "in-house" (it was the base to why he had doubled the IT dept). Yet shortly after the CEO's hired the business manager, our in-house warehouse (housed all our print materials) was moved out of state. The reason was that they did our special order clothes and trinkets. (our brochures and printed materials are the bulk our materials.)
* When he started, he made a Huge
deal about having an open door policy if you had problems. Shortly after that comment, he said that he didn't want you to come in to him with problems if you didn't have a solution for the problem to present to him.
* Without Board approval, CEO got rid of my department's VP (very popular VP with the board) and quickly hired a friend of his who had no background in our industry. And worse yet. Refused to bother to learn. Instead of trying to learn, she would sit in meetings for less than a quarter of the time and wander off.
* What seemed to be the final blow, the CEO (without Board approval - see a pattern?) tried to move our office to a space about half the size, horrible floor plan, and in a terribly inconvient part of town. Not bad neighborhood, but in an industrial area that was awkard to get to.
And because there were only 6 office spaces, everyone would basically be sitting in a cube maze. Not cool when the 8 department VPs and assistant VPs and all management team members were use to their own offices. (Basically everyone above admin staff level has a office, though a couple don't have doors. Admin staff have areas in their team's hallway.) Plus no space for the art department or shipping area.
He created an atmosphere of conflict where conflict wasn't, since it made "you think clearer and be more of a team".
When he announced his plans to leave, there was an audible sigh of relief in the room.