5 kick-ass resignations that went viral

By Robert Half on 22 November 2013

Is your job the stuff of nightmares?

Sometimes leaving a dead-end role can pave the way for an exciting new future, though rarely does a resignation go viral.

Here are five employees whose splashy resignations caused a stir while, for the most part, scoring points with their next boss.

Andrew Mason breaks up with Groupon

If you’re a CEO in the e-commerce sector, getting fired from Groupon may seem like career suicide. But when former boss Andrew Mason was ejected from the group-buying giant, he asserted his customer loyalty and disdain for the company’s shortcuts via a searing resignation letter that was republished in the Washington Post.

“My biggest regrets are the moments that I let a lack of data override my intuition on what’s best for our customers,” Mason writes. Although his resignation letter won respect in the business community, Mason is also impacting the next generation of tech upstarts by becoming a part-time member of a startup incubator in Silicon Valley.

Marina Shifrin quits Next Media Animation

When disgruntled writer Marina Shifrin grew tired of an employer that privileged quantity over quality, she didn’t take to Twitter to air her woes. Instead, Shifrin filmed herself interpretive dancing to Kanye West’s “Gone”, spelled out her reasons for quitting at the bottom of the screen and uploaded the video to YouTube. The results? A hilarious resignation effort that scored over 16 million views as well as a shiny new job that puts her creativity first.

Steven Slater makes a hasty exit

It’s hard to find a resignation effort that’s more audacious than Steven Slater’s. In 2010, the flight attendant – who was unhappily employed at US airline JetBlue – conveyed his fury to management by activating the emergency evacuation chute, sliding down the tarmac and grabbing a beer as he departed New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport.

Slater’s theatrics may have damaged his hospitality career but it won him global notoriety – the incident was covered by countless news outlets around the world.

Greg Smith gives Goldman the sack

For Greg Smith, an oversized pay packet wasn’t motivation enough to stay employed by Goldman Sachs. In an opinion piece published in The New York Times, the former stockbroker unleashed a tirade against the storied investment firm, critiquing everything from toxic work practices to corporate greed and causing ripples throughout the business world in the process.

Joey DeFrancesco says goodbye with a bang

Sometimes resignations can serve as the best kind of resumes. Just ask Joey DeFrancesco. In October 2011, the US hotel worker left his room service role and put an end to a union struggle by enlisting the help of his 19-piece big band. The resulting video [language warning] is a lesson in how to quit in style.

DeFrancesco told The Huffington Post that his multimillion-viewed YouTube hit is beyond anything he could have dreamed: "I thought it would just embarrass the boss, but now it's all over the world and it's insane."

Of course, scandalous resignations are not the most graceful way to move on and could cost you future career advancements. But isn’t it fun to imagine?

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