Coca-Cola President Steve Heyer did not get the new position as CEO. He has a great history at Coca-Cola in revamping the advertising and cutting costs. You know it’s got to be tough to have been the top dog and then have someone else come in from the outside to be your new boss.
We can probably speculate about the conversations at that point. But here’s what the new CEO said in a statement: “We agreed that Steve could best realize his aspirations by pursuing opportunities outside of the company.”
What a lovely way to say, “You’re fired,” “You’re outta here, boy” or “We don’t want you anymore.” And Steve probably quoted Johnny Paycheck in telling them what they could do with their job. But what comes out is this perfectly polished politically correct statement that makes it appear they’re all best friends.
It doesn’t really matter if you’ve been “rightsized,” ” restructured,” ” reorganized,” “reengineered,” “made available to the industry,” “put in the mobility pool,” “invited to participate in the employee-reduction initiative,” uninstalled,” or “promoted to customer.” What does matter is what you do at that point. Don’t get mired down in the terminology used. Do know what you’re moving TO – lose your focus on what you’re moving FROM. And then yes, go “realize your aspirations outside of that company.”
What do you think? Are sensitive synonyms like those above positive and productive? Do they leave both parties in the best possible light? Or is it clear that someone was let go — and why? Why not call it as it is?