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9 shocking and hysterical ways these execs got fired

9 shocking and hysterical ways these execs got fired David Zaleski
You won't believe the ways these company executives got fired.

If you're an executive, you've probably spent a healthy amount of time worrying about losing your job. Here are some people who got the surprise boot for the most ridiculous, offensive, and outrageous reasons you'll ever hear.

Don't be one of them.

9. Fired mistaking Ash Wednesday cross for a smudge

On Wednesday, February 25, Mike Murray came into work as usual at the New York Palace Hotel, sporting this familiar religious symbol on his forehead.


Yep, that particular Wednesday was Ash Wednesday. A day when Catholics wear the symbolic ash cross as a reminder of their own mortality.

But then...

Bum Bum Buuumm!

In walked old man Niklaus Leuenberger.

Leuenberger had apparently recently realized that he was a boring old man, and it seemed the 13-year-old boy inside of him wasn't too happy about it. Leuenberger also just happened to be Murray's boss.

Upon seeing the ash on Murray's youthful forehead, he shouted, "Wipe that f***g s**t off your face!"

Did I mention the New York Palace Hotel leases its land from the Catholic Church?


Eight days later, the CEO himself very publicly fired Leuenberger. Leuenberger uses his now copious free time to get more familiar with the Bible.

8. Fired for slapping a baby

OK, be honest. Who hasn't fantasized about slapping a crying baby on a plane?

Just me? Oh, OK.

Well regardless, business executive Joe Rickey Hundley took it one step further by actually hitting a crying toddler during his Delta flight.

Now, to be fair, I've flown Delta too. You get edgy on those planes.

But Mr. Hundley was apparently beyond aggravated. He turned to the mother of the kid and screamed, "Shut that (N-word) baby up!” right before laying it out.

The 60 year old was promptly suspended from his job and is facing federal charges. An experience that changed him from looking like this:

To this:

in a matter of days.

I'm not sure what it is about mug shots that make old men look like Jerry Sandusky, but it's pretty shocking.

By the way, what did Mr. Hundley ironically do for a living?

He worked on Defense.

Thanks to Hundley, sounds like that's what the kid will do too.

7. Fired for big breasts

Now things are getting sexy.

Amy-Erin Blakely, a 43-year-old executive, was apparently fired for having, what her boss described as "distracting breasts" like these.

Here are a couple comments that her Tourette's afflicted senior manager made during the course of her employment:

"You have very large breasts, so does my wife, and I have talked to her about you and your breasts." -Sleazebag

"You should wear loose-fitting clothes or try to hide your breasts because they are too distracting." - Idiot Sleazebag

Comments that drew the same response from every American female.

Blakely filed a lawsuit in 2010 against her former employer. She reportedly was just glad to get it off her chest.

6. Fired for keeping a journal about not working

Journals are an excellent way to express yourself. Especially if you hate your job.

As did Emmalee Baue, a Sales Coordinator at the Sheraton Hotel Company.

Apparently, Emmalee did the majority of her coordinating with the nouns and verbs between the gold edged pages of her weathered journal.

Upon noticing this, her boss politely told her to stop writing the journal and get back to work. Emmalee obliged, and began writing her journal on her company computer instead.

Emmalee didn't like being told what to do by, you know, her boss. So she began writing a 300 page, single-spaced entry on what she does to avoid work. She hopped one day it would be published as a book.

Let's look at some actual entries from Emmalee.

"This typing thing seems to be doing the trick, it just looks like I am hard at work on something very important."

"I am only here for the money and, lately, for the printer access."

"I can shop online, play games, and read message boards and still get paid for it."

Well, you can pretty much guess the bosses reaction when he inevitably came across the writings open on her computer.

Personally, I would have fired her for having a pretentious way of spelling the name, "Emily"


Seriously, what kind of mom does that?

5. Fired for Facebooking on a sick day

Facebook is really good at destroying marriages and friendships. Especially with that "seen at" feature for their messages. Can't a guy ignore people anymore?

Well it turns out that Facebook is also good at destroying careers.

A woman (who remains unidentified) called her boss at Nationale Suisse, a Swiss Insurance company. She told him that her migraine was so bad that she needed to stay in a dark room away from the light of a computer screen.

I've had migraines. They're tough. And so had the boss. He completely sympathized and let her take the sick day.

A few minutes later, her boss noticed something odd. His "too sick for computers" employee was posting on Facebook.

Well, the Swiss are a sharp people. He immediately put two and two together and realized she was lying her butt off.  She was fired the following day. The company issued a statement.

“This abuse of trust, rather than the activity on Facebook, led to the ending of the work contract.”

The Swiss, of all people, should know to "watch" who they add on Facebook.

Swiss "watch," get it? Haha.

4. Fired for lying on resume. Oh yeah, and he was the Yahoo! CEO

George Lazenby, the 2nd James Bond, basically lied his way to getting the part. He made up names of agents, managers, and films he had acted in all over the world. None of it was true, but it got him the role. That was pretty James Bond of him.

This is not.

Yahoo! CEO Scott Thompson, pictured here doing his best Ed Helms impression,

was hired in 2012 as the new chief executive at the struggling search engine.

What happened next is baffling. It was discovered that he falsely claimed a computer science degree on his resume. The Yahoo! board of directors promptly met and decided to give Thompson the boot.

How did they discover the error? I'm sure they Googled it.

This seems like a good time to share with you the best meme I've seen about Yahoo!'s failed business strategy. Click here. Trust me, it's worth it.

3. Fired for emailing in ALL CAPS


ProCare claimed that Walker had “caused disharmony in the workplace by using block capitals, bold typeface and red text in her emails.”

Should Walker have been fired for that? No, and the New Zealand Employment Relations Authority agreed, awarding her $12,000 for unfair dismissal.

Is she guilty of being a bit of an email jerk? YES.

2. Fired for wearing orange to work

Remember that thing in the constitution that allows us to peacefully assemble? It applies to color coordination too.

Eight employees of the Elizabeth R. Wellborn law firm were fired on March 16, 2012 for wearing orange on a one particular day. A Friday.

Management thought they were all wearing orange to protest work conditions, and told them, "they should pack their things and leave."

Turns out that they were wearing orange on payday because a bunch of them were going to go out to a bar after work and wanted to stand out.

Management fail.

The employees immediately filed a federal complaint.

Here's a tip: If your company gets so paranoid toward chromatically matching employees, you probably should take a second look at your company culture.

Orange you glad I didn't make a joke?

1. Fired for creating Apple Maps

Yep. I can't talk about this subject without mentioning the most well-known and unbelievable example of a shocking fire. If you were lucky enough to use Apple Maps and lived, you know what I'm talking about.

First, Steve Jobs tragically dies.

Leaving the worlds most popular computer company to move on without its genius. They pull up their bootstraps, work hard, and finally release their first big device: The iPhone 5.

You got to imagine angels singing with that beauty.

Steve Jobs looks down from heaven as happy as can be.

Then something odd started to happen. People navigating to the freeway were ending up at strip malls. Teenagers trying to find the closest Del Taco were ending up at Arbys. Australians trying to find the city were ending up in the middle of the desert. The world was in chaos.

Apple Maps was a piece of Apple craps.

Yep. The most anticipated post-Jobs device, and Apples most anticipated new application, was designed by Richard Williamson, Vice President of iOS Services.

Highlights of the new app, which replaced Google Maps on the iPhone are:

1) Glitchy images, like this!

Whee! I feel like I'm back in my sophomore year of college after a fun night at the Jamaican bar.

2) Horrible directions. Like this screen shot, which shows the city of Mildura as being located in the middle of Murray Sunset National Park.

3. The lack of public transit information. News which really upset more than a few trains.

Put that all together, and what do you get? A nice fat pink slip for good ol' Richard Williamson. Nothing makes a CEO happier than having to tell his customer to use competitors apps because you screwed up so bad.


I think all these examples prove one thing: You are completely secure in your job and don't have a thing to worry about.

So get back to work and go get em' champ.

David Zaleski is the Media Production Supervisor for iMedia Communications, Inc. and Comexposium USA. He graduated from Loyola Marymount University with a BA in Film & Television Production, specializing in editing, animation, and...

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to leave comments.

Commenter: Tom Dibble

2009, September 19

Doug - you rock.

Commenter: John Dietz

2009, September 18

This is all very true, and I've seen the results of these types of campaign studies that have yielded very good results. As more agencies move to this type of analysis, the ones that don't are going to be left with the poor performing placements, and they won't even know it. Imagine a lake where half the fisherman know the good spots. The ones that don't won't get an average take, they get the leftovers.

I'll throw out that beyond just the ad server mentioned, there are companies that exist that are focusing on this exact kind of analysis regardless of ad server, like my own: http://www.adometry.com/