I’d Fire These Two Guys If They Worked for Me

It’s been a busy week.  Had a wonderful time speaking at the Roppongi Hills Breakfast earlier in the week. If you’re in Tokyo, you should definitely check it out.

About Guy # 1:

I  met the president of a local company at another  event earlier in the week.  He told me to check out his website.  Was surprised to see someone I knew listed as a staff member.

Was even more surprised to see the guy listing a Professorship at Tokyo University on his resume.  A professorship for two years.  Wow, I thought, very impressive.


I know the guy.  He  had given two lectures there to a student group. Sorry this is not a professorship.  Maybe it’s an oversight, maybe it’s nothing. To me, it was a bit of an outrage.  Especially considering the guy never went to any university,  the number of people who inflate their resumes, and the guy’s business.

The guys business:  Headhunting!!  Executive Recruiting.  If the guy worked for me, I’d fire him. Or at least tell him to revise his resume. No, I’d fire him.

About Guy # 2:

He heads operations for a large medical supply company here.  He told me over dinner: “there are going to be some layoffs and I’m in charge of figuring out compensation when people leave.”

Normally, his company gives 8 months severance pay to compensate senior people for the loss of their jobs.

“Bob”, he told me, “I’m working on a big deal.”  “I’m going to talk with the CEO today about the layoffs and instead of giving people 8 months severance, I’m going to suggest to the president that we get people to accept only 5 months severance.

“I am going to ask that for every one that accepts five months, I get one of those months for compensation for saving the company money.  The company can keep the other two months and save money and I will get a huge bonus.”

He asked me what I thought.  I was shocked. Honestly, I did not know what to say.  He’s one of those “family values” guys.  Loves his family, he always tells me.

Obviously he never thought about the other people’s families.

I left my dinner with him early. I never got to find out what happened. He got promoted to head up an even bigger division of the company.

I would have fired him, not promoted him. I wonder if he ever had that talk with the president.

Integrity matters. Integrity matters?

Really it does.  I’d like to think it does.

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  1. mikekato says:

    Tried, but failed to post this earlier from my iPad… I’d have fired those two jerks, too. I think the first one is deceitful, but the second one is utterly foul.

    • bobtobin says:

      Thanks for the comment. I see the first guy around town all the time. He even had a name card with his “professorship”. The second guy is probably now making about a million a year, heading up a huge division of his company.

      • mikekato says:

        That’s kind of sad, really. At least the first one is limited to the individual. But the second one says a lot about how corporations value its people. The value placed on people who are willing to be ruthless – often destroying the lives of people who are beneath them as employees, customers, or clients – is a fundamental issue of corporate rule that I think must be resolved in this generation.

  2. I was shocked by the second example and even more shocked when I learned that he was promoted. Maybe he didn’t share that idea? More likely he did. But that says a lot about that company and it’s definitely not one that I would ever want to work for.

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