‘Result! The Brats have eased Bob out,’ Ed confides to his diary referring to the 20-something year-old super-sharpies who monitor his company for its private equity owners, and his former best friend and COO, now bitter enemy, who was sitting on the supervisory board causing trouble for Ed.
‘Clearly The Brats took the point that having a director on the board who’d previously been disqualified from serving as a director could cause us grief at the IPO,’ adds Ed, ‘now the thing is to make Bob unemployable in this industry, because I don’t want him popping up again causing trouble. People couldn’t care less about a mere 12 months disqualification over a decade ago, that’s not going to prevent him getting a job, so this has got to be made to look really bad for Bob.’
A couple of days later, the diary entry reads: ‘I’ve figured out a way to make sure Bob will never get another job in the industry. I’m going to action the plan tomorrow.’
Next day’s entry reads: ‘Called the marketing vp in this morning. He’s the biggest gossip in the company, probably in the industry. We talked markets, sales figures that sort of thing until I super-casually mentioned Bob’s leaving the board.’
‘”Yes I heard,” replied the marketing vp, “couldn’t understand it myself. Why?”‘
‘”Strictly entre nous?” I ask.’
‘”Absolutely”, replied the marketing vp, “lips sealed, totally schtumm.”‘
‘That means it’ll be all over the industry by the end of the week,’ I reckon.
‘I told the marketing vp: “Look there’s not much that’s unforgivable in this industry: bribery, lying, chicanery, deception and fraud are all forgotten and forgiven after a while, but there’s one thing that puts a man totally beyond the pale”.’
‘The marketing vp is all agog.’
‘”Pensions”, I tell the marketing vp, “if you mess around with the pension fund you affect everyone in the company. It’s the one unforgivable sin”.’
‘”And Bob . . . .?”‘
‘I nod, then shake my head sadly. “I can’t imagine what possessed him”, I say.’
‘The marketing vp can’t wait to get out to share his newly acquired secret,’ writes Ed.
‘That’s stuffed Bob,’ Ed confides to his diary, ‘roll on my $25 mill.’