The CEO of a Christian book and music publishing company in Oklahoma prayed with his employees before a recent all-hands meeting, then went ballistic over an anonymous email he received and fired 25 people. (The email is posted below, along with a recording of the meeting.)
“It’s not fair, it’s not right, but that’s the reality of the situation,” said Tate Publishing CEO Ryan Tate.
This email [about jobs being outsourced to the Philippines] was the straw that broke the camel’s back for me. Things are going to be different, and the reality of it is people in this room are responsible for it. Cowards in this room were a part of it. Don’t kid yourself, the people next to you are responsible for this and I’m going to find you. I’m very good at it.
Tate, who was unaware that his talk was being recorded, told his employees that “I’ve probably failed you in that I’ve been a little too lenient and a little too on the side of mercy and grace and not enough justice.”
I’ve turned my head, I’ve looked the other way, I’ve let it go. I’ve tried to be nice. I’ve trusted you. Good God. Want to watch Netflix? Let them watch Netflix. Let them throw it up on a projector if they want. They want to be on Facebook all day long? Be on Facebook all day long.
He said that if the person who sent the email about the company outsourcing jobs “comes forward now, you will not save these 25 people” because “what’s done is done.” He added: “It’s over. You’ve missed your chances and I gave you multiple.”
He told the fired employees: “If I was you, I’d get on a mission to find who cost you your job. …There’s going to be a lot of innocent, good hard-working people pay a big price for this. I hate that. It tears me up, and I’ve shed a lot of tears over this. But I will not stand for it.”
The 25 were dismissed, he said, for breaching confidentiality agreements in their employment contracts when they allegedly leaked rumors about the outsourcing.
* CEO prays with, then fires 25 employees (The Journal Record)
* Tate: “If you’re a pain in the ass to me, I’m going to fire you too” (NewsOK.com)
* About that crazy staff meeting at Tate Publishing (Lost Ogle)
* 10 things I’ve learned about Tate Publishing CEO Ryan Tate (Lost Ogle)
THE ANONYMOUS EMAIL THAT WAS SENT TO TATE AND HIS EMPLOYEES:
In 2009, Tate Publishing LLC was named one of the best places to work in the state of Oklahoma. In a post published on your blog in April 2, 2009, you say ”most publishers outsource and farm out their work because it is cheaper” and went on to say “we handle every element of production in house” and also “if you want to lead an industry and succeed you need to make the extra investment in the staff”. Three short years later, you have opened an office in the Philippines to do just that – outsource and farm out the work that has been done by loyal, hard-working Oklahoma employees. What has changed in that time that has caused you to come to the conclusion that “a staff that never quits” as you referred to them, are no longer worth the investment?
LISTEN TO THE SECRETLY RECORDED MEETING: