Thousands of high ranking corporate executives are fired every year, yet Andrew Mason may be the only one to ever actually admit it. Most executive turnover press releases are nothing but lies and propaganda that would make Stalin proud. They left to “spend more time with their family”, “pursue other opportunities” or are “taking an extended sabbatical” – from which they will never return.
Contrast Mason’s frankness
“From controversial metrics in our S1 to our material weakness to two quarters of missing our own expectations and a stock price that’s hovering around one quarter of our listing price, the events of the last year and a half speak for themselves. As CEO, I am accountable.”
to the very public pronouncements of another well known CEO, Ron Johnson of JC Penney. Upon informing Wall Street that JC Penney’s sales were down an astonishing 32%, he went into politician mode. “This is my third transformation,” he said. “I told you this would be a multiyear effort, and it will be, I told you transformations are unpredictable and can be bumpy, and this one has been.” he said. Unpredictable and bumpy? Those are rather vague terms to describe a strategy that reduced JC Penney’s sales by over $4 billion, or almost twice the size of Groupon.
Andrew Mason may not have been the most successful CEO we’ve ever seen, but he was definitely one of the most honest and for that he deserves credit.