Bob McKenzie, the Executive Chairmen of The AA, has been dismissed for gross misconduct following a reportedly Clarkson-esque bust up with an employee at a hotel bar. Whilst a statement from Mr McKenzie claims his departure was due to ill-health, in any event his leaving has wiped a fifth off the company’s share value.
Not only has his dismissal resulted in the company’s share price dropping it has also reportedly cost Mr McKenzie millions in performance related share bonuses. As part of the company’s entry onto the market many senior employees were given shares to encourage the growth of AA. Mr McKenzie had 33 million shares which could have been worth £95 million had he remained employed and achieved his targets.
Whilst dismissing any employee is never easy, this case highlights that there can be extra risk – whether it be financial, reputational or operational – when dismissing a senior member of staff.