The CEO of a Fortune 500 firm was canned by the board.
They brought in a successor who, in getting settled, discovered three envelopes from the previous CEO in his desk drawer.
A note instructed him to open the envelopes in order at the end of the next three quarters.
He found this amusing and promptly forgot it.
His first quarter was a disaster.
Profits down, people problems, etc.
He had to appear before the board.
He remembered the envelopes and opened the first one.
It said: “Blame me.”
He did. He told the board this was all the previous guy’s fault and it would soon be straightened out and the company put in good order.
The board agreed and he went back to work.
The next quarter was worse.
Profits were gone, strikes were threatened, the competition was eating their lunch.
He opened the second envelope.
It said: “Blame the economy.”
He did. He went to the board and told them about supply chain problems, inability to get parts, and Covid-19 issues.
The board reluctantly bought it and he went back to work.
The third quarter was a total catastrophe. They showed a heavy loss, wildcat strikes broke out, and the employees were vandalizing the plants.
He was ordered to meet with the board. His hands trembled as he opened the third envelope.
“Prepare three envelopes…”