The 13 Best Resignation Letters Of All Time

That guy with the glasses

Photo: NostalgiaAVGNfan via YouTube

Goldman Sachs former executive Greg Smith’s op-ed piece in the NYT on Wednesday caused more than a stir, but he’s not the only person to publicly make a fuss when resigning. He’s not even the first banking executive to quit using the NYT’s op-ed page. 

Whatever encourages their behaviours, these people have decided to quit their jobs with some controversial style. We’ve compiled 13 epic quitting examples.

Inspired by an American Idol contestant singing Mariah Carey's 'Treated Me Kind' in 2009, Kevin Nalty decided he could no longer be a consumer product director at Merck Pharmaceuticals and a YouTube comedian at the same time.

When his YouTube channel Nalts gained attention -- earning 7.4 million views for a video titled 'Farting in Public' -- Merck offered Nalty the opportunity to resign.

An AIG exec told the world that he got screwed when he only got $742,000 for his post-crisis work

A hedge fund manager tells the world he was only in it for the money

Eleanor Roosevelt resigned from the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) when it denied singer Marian Anderson, an African American, from performing at its Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C.

After the First Lady's resignation, the federal government invited Anderson to sing in a ceremony at the Lincoln Memorial. Roosevelt's letter is below:

After learning he'd get bumped by a new Jay Leno show, Conan O'Brien released this disapproving statement

O'Brien's press release from Jan. 12, 2010 says:

People of Earth:

In the last few days, I've been getting a lot of sympathy calls, and I want to start by making it clear that no one should waste a second feeling sorry for me. For 17 years, I've been getting paid to do what I love most and, in a world with real problems, I've been absurdly lucky. That said, I've been suddenly put in a very public predicament and my bosses are demanding an immediate decision.

Six years ago, I signed a contract with NBC to take over The Tonight Show in June of 2009. Like a lot of us, I grew up watching Johnny Carson every night and the chance to one day sit in that chair has meant everything to me. I worked long and hard to get that opportunity, passed up far more lucrative offers, and since 2004 I have spent literally hundreds of hours thinking of ways to extend the franchise long into the future. It was my mistaken belief that, like my predecessor, I would have the benefit of some time and, just as important, some degree of ratings support from the prime-time schedule. Building a lasting audience at 11:30 is impossible without both.

But sadly, we were never given that chance. After only seven months, with my Tonight Show in its infancy, NBC has decided to react to their terrible difficulties in prime-time by making a change in their long-established late night schedule.

Last Thursday, NBC executives told me they intended to move The Tonight Show to 12:05 to accommodate The Jay Leno Show at 11:35. For 60 years The Tonight Show has aired immediately following the late local news. I sincerely believe that delaying The Tonight Show into the next day to accommodate another comedy program will seriously damage what I consider to be the greatest franchise in the history of broadcasting. The Tonight Show at 12:05 simply isn't The Tonight Show. Also, if I accept this move I will be knocking the Late Night show, which I inherited from David Letterman and passed on to Jimmy Fallon, out of its long-held time slot. That would hurt the other NBC franchise that I love, and it would be unfair to Jimmy.

So it has come to this: I cannot express in words how much I enjoy hosting this program and what an enormous personal disappointment it is for me to consider losing it. My staff and I have worked unbelievably hard and we are very proud of our contribution to the legacy of The Tonight Show . But I cannot participate in what I honestly believe is its destruction. Some people will make the argument that with DVRs and the Internet a time slot doesn't matter. But with The Tonight Show, I believe nothing could matter more.

There has been speculation about my going to another network but, to set the record straight, I currently have no other offer and honestly have no idea what happens next. My hope is that NBC and I can resolve this quickly so that my staff, crew, and I can do a show we can be proud of, for a company that values our work.

Have a great day and, for the record, I am truly sorry about my hair; it's always been that way.



Sun Micro's CEO Jonathan Schwartz tweeted this haiku

According to Ashlee Vance at The New York Times, Schwartz is an avid user of the web and became the first CEO of a major company to have a blog.

This guy handed over his letter with a smile, dropped the letter on the floor, and left followed by a marching band

23-year-old Joey DeFrancesco worked in room service for the Providence Rhode Island Hotel for three years and told Dave Jamieson at the Huffington Post that he's gotten a job somewhere else, but didn't say where.

TechCrunch writer blogged his resignation when Erick Schonfeld was named the new tech editor

This may be the first ever tweeted resignation

On May 12, 2009, an opinion page editor for the Norwegian online news site ABC Nyheter tweeted that she had 'cleaned out her desk and was ready for new challenges' after a meeting where she was informed she'd have more duties.

When Heidi Norby Lunde's employer found out, he asked her why she didn't speak to him about it before posting online. Soon after, Lunde was asked to be a host for 'Studio 5,' a Norwegian version of 'The View.'

He now runs the Web site 'That Guy with the Glasses.'

An unnamed designer resigns with a creative 'error' message

An unnamed designer quit his job by doing what he knows best: Creating messages on the web, except this one said 'The designer you treat like shit has quit unexpectedly.'

The 'error' message even came with a 'renegotiate' choice, reminding his employers that there is a way to keep their bold designer if they wished to do so.

BONUS: An infamous Jet Blue flight attendant made headlines with his 'sliding exit'

Who could forget the Jet Blue flight attendant who flipped out when a passenger refused to stay seated on a 2010 flight to New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport?

Steven Slater exchanged a four-letter word with his defiant passenger before grabbing a beer and popping the lever for the plane's inflatable emergency chute. On his way out, he reportedly announced 'That's it. I'm done.'

Slater's former colleagues told David Gardner at the Daily Mail that Slater was having 'a really bad day.'

After his dramatic resignation, Slater was arrested for criminal mischief and reckless endangerment and sentenced to one-year of probation in Oct. 2011.

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