When George Zimmer, founder and public face of the retail chain Men’s Wearhouse — “You’re going to like the way you look. I guarantee it.” — was fired two years ago by his handpicked board, there was no sugarcoating the message.
The lead director, Bill Sechrest, called him in and said: “You’re terminated. We’re packing up your office furniture and putting it in storage,” Mr. Zimmer recalled. He got no severance or lucrative consulting agreement. “They didn’t even ask for a noncompete clause,” he said. “They thought Men’s would be just fine without me.”
His abrupt ouster, after clashing with the board over the company’s direction, came as a personal blow, especially since he counted some of the directors among his closest friends. One senior executive had been his best friend since childhood. The famed author and new-age guru Deepak Chopra was on the board. “I didn’t think a man of his elevated consciousness would care about an extra nickel for shareholders,” Mr. Zimmer said. “But he didn’t support me.”
That evening, Mr. Zimmer came home and told his school-age children he’d been fired. “Life isn’t about getting knocked down,” he told them. “We all get knocked down at some point. It’s about getting back up.” NY Times