Wednesday, June 26, 2013
A board fires the founder and spokesperson of a company then waits a week to tell the world its reasons for doing so. That comes under the heading of too little, too late. But, this is what the directors of Men's Wearhouse have done. It is poor governance and smacks of desperation. Apparently the board thought it could rid itself of an internal dissident quietly. Of course, it didn't work. The board needs a PR counselor who can tell directors what is most likely to happen when any high profile action is undertaken. A counselor would have advised them to make reasons explicit enough to justify its action in the form of a press release issued at the time of termination. That way it gets its message out right away and shows it is in control. A PR counselor would not have told them to wait a week and watch a crisis unfold before commenting. First impressions count, and the board was painted as high-handed in firing the founder. If one believes its explanation for the termination, it was doing its duty. Why didn't it say so sooner?