The best resignation letter ever?

by Toby Manhire / 16 April, 2013
The Groupon boss's farewell has competition in the best-ever stakes - including a resignation letter entirely made of cake.
Andrew Mason, Forbes cover star in 2010

Andrew Mason, founder and CEO of Groupon, the fallen giant of American daily-deal websites, emails his staff with the news.

After four and a half intense and wonderful years as CEO of Groupon, I’ve decided that I’d like to spend more time with my family.

So far, so conventional.

And then:

Just kidding – I was fired today. If you’re wondering why, you haven’t been paying attention.

The company had struck rocks, and Mason – who has been dubbed “the worst CEO of 2012” – was off, but in entertaining style.

Later, in what the Washington Post’s Brad Plumer deems “the best resignation letter ever”, Mason even squeezes in a reference to a cult video game.

For those who are concerned about me, please don’t be – I love Groupon, and I’m terribly proud of what we’ve created. I’m OK with having failed at this part of the journey. If Groupon was Battletoads, it would be like I made it all the way to the Terra Tubes without dying on my first ever play through.

But the best resignation letter ever?

The last best resignation letter ever, according to the internet, was a 2011 missive from a disgruntled employee of the chirpy, wholesome-looking American grocery chain Whole Foods Market.

Leaked to the website Gawker, it begins:

My experience at Whole Foods was like an increasingly sped up fall down a really long hill. That got rockier with every metre. And eventually, just really spiky – With fire, acid and Nickleback music.

The company’s philosophies, seethes the departing worker, were “complete and utter bullshit”, with the group controlled by a “centralised monster”.

Whole Foods, he fumes, had become a kind of “faux hippy Wal-Mart”. And it continues in that vein, but with escalating vitriol, over more than 2,300 words.

Neither of the above figure in Business Insider’s selection of the “13 best resignation letters of all time”. Nor does another contender for the best resignation of all time (though we could quibble about its eligibility) - Groucho Marx’s famous line:

Please accept my resignation. I don't care to belong to any club that will have me as a member.

But the best that springs to my mind is the statement that one observer hoped, in vain, that James Murdoch, son of Rupert, might utter on departing UK newspaper group News International:

I am resigning to spend less time with my family.

 Update, April 16: This delicious resignation letter, which has just cropped up on Twitter, really takes the (etc): cake

Post originally published March 18, 2013

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