MSN Money 9 great ‘I quit’ moments in history

22 Mar

Greg Smith, Goldman Sachs

“I truly believe that this decline in the firm’s moral fiber represents the single most serious threat to its long-run survival.”

— The former Goldman executive director, in a column in The New York Times.

Following are some famous examples of people who went out with a bang.



Carol Bartz, Yahoo

“These people f—– me over. . . . Now they’re trying to show that they’re not the doofuses that they are.”

— The former CEO, speaking about the Yahoo (YHOO) board, in an interview withFortune.



Brad Garlinghouse, Yahoo

“I’ve heard our strategy described as spreading peanut butter across the myriad opportunities that continue to evolve in the online world. The result: a thin layer of investment spread across everything we do and thus we focus on nothing in particular. I hate peanut butter. We all should.”

— This was not a resignation letter, but rather the Yahoo senior vice president expounding in 2006 on the company’s problems in a strange internal document that has come to be known as the “Peanut Butter Manifesto.” Garlinghouse left Yahoo two years later.



Olympia Snowe, US Senate

“It’s a reflection of the political dynamic in America, where we don’t look at America as a whole. We look at it through the red and blue prism. . . . And so it becomes more divisive and I think ultimately has manifested itself in the Senate and an overall process that lends itself to dysfunction and political paralysis that doesn’t allow problems to be solved.”

— The Republican senator from Maine, on her frustration with U.S. politics, in her announcement last month that she won’t seek re-election this year.


Stephen Slater, JetBlue

“To the passenger who just called me a mother——: F— you. I’ve been in this business 28 years and I’ve had it.”

— The frustrated flight attendant having his say over an airplane public address system at JFK Airport in New York City before opening the plane door and exiting via the emergency escape chute.

Daniel Domscheit-Berg, Wikileaks

“Julian Assange reacted to any criticism with the allegation that I was disobedient to him and disloyal to the project. Four weeks ago, he suspended me — acting as the prosecutor, judge and hangman in one person.”

— The former Wikileaks spokesman, in an interview with Der Spiegel.



Michael Woodford, Olympus

“The honorable way forward would be for you and Mori-san to face the consequences of what has taken place, which is a shameful saga by any stretch of the imagination. It is clear that the current situation is now untenable and to move forward positively the necessary course of action is for you both to tender your resignations from the Board.”

— The Olympus CEO in a letter to then-Chairman Tsuyoshi Kikukawa, regarding questionable acquisitions and advisory fees. Woodford was fired, and the scandal broke into public view shortly afterward.



Richard Nixon

“You don’t have Nixon to kick around anymore, because, gentlemen, this is my last press conference, and I hope that what I have said today will at least make television, radio, the press recognize that they have a right and a responsibility, if they’re against a candidate, give him the shaft; but also recognize if they give him the shaft, put one lonely reporter on the campaign who’ll report what the candidate says now and then.”



Rosie O’Donnell, ‘The View’

“I never tried harder to be friends with someone than I did with her. But I don’t think we ever got there, or anywhere close.”

— O’Donnell, after an on-air feud with co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck prompted her to resign.

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