CEO has a funny way of saying “You’re fired”

by |

Jason Goldberg, CEO of online retail store, has cut over 100 employees from his company’s Berlin office, sending an internal memo to staff to do so, Bloomberg reported.

The email demonstrates Goldberg’s appreciation of his staff and love of his company, and details the reasons behind his regretful decision.

The CEO then chooses a rather odd and lengthy way to say “you’re terminated…maybe”:

“Directly after this meeting you will learn what category your job falls into and whether you will have the opportunity to start your new job search immediately or if you will consider working with us through a multi-month transitional period during the fall and winter.”

It’s not clear what employees made of the confusing corporate-talk.

The strange choice of words isn’t the first time have been in the news, with Bloomberg previously reporting on the organization’s ban of hanging jackets over chairs and going through 11 executives in the first two years of operation.

What do you think of Goldberg’s choice of words? Is it better to sugar-coat terminations, or be straight with employees?


  • Janice Tonna on 2013-08-09 7:51:05 AM

    No one should ever be surprised when their employment is terminated. Everyone deserves to know their status and terminations should not be sugar-coated.

  • Yosie Saint-Cyr on 2013-08-09 8:31:58 AM

    Be straight with employees during the life and end of the employment relationship! Nothing should be sugar-coated about HR. Understanding and trust is essential and they both happen with truths!

  • Jezzee Valenzuela on 2013-08-09 8:52:18 AM

    Employers should be clear and straight when dealing with an employee's employment status for a lot of reasons i.e. employee's resort to finding a job upon termination, any termination pay owed, when is her final pay, etc. These are only a few things to consider when an empoyment is terminated.
    The bottom line is the employer has to ensure that all termination legality is met and fully explained to the employee to avoid any legal implications.

    An employer cannot be casual when terminating an employee who has financial obligations!

  • Karen Wood on 2013-08-09 11:06:52 AM

    Terminating anyone's employment should never be treated lightly - while termination is first and foremost a business decision, it is one that has a significant impact on a person's life. As such, it has been my experience that employees appreciate clear messages from employers, even (and perhaps especially) when it's bad news.

    Our job is to deliver the message in an empathetic and respectful way - keeping it human(e), while we're also keeping it real.

  • John Fleck on 2013-08-09 12:26:33 PM

    The uncertainty that is created for employee with statements such as these is devastating to this employees and will be reflected in the business!

HRM Online forum is the place for positive industry interaction and welcomes your professional and informed opinion.

Name (required)
Comment (required)
By submitting, I agree to the Terms & Conditions