Well, I’ve had an interesting couple of years with you. We’ve had our ups and our downs. You’ve said some things and I’ve said some things. Difficult decisions have been made and, on occasion, vitriol has been thrown. But we’ve had a strong financial year, the results have been satisfactory, and now we all have something to build on for the year ahead.
I can’t deny that you’ve done a lot for me. Since joining the company my profile has grown exponentially. I’ve been scouted by top firms; big bonuses have been waved in my direction; I’ve even been picked up by a part-time international outfit, pretty much solely off the efforts I’ve put in with the team. And, I have to be honest, your plush West London base and classy reputation has given me a taste for the high life. But now, it seems, my burgeoning ambitions cannot be contained by your company. I space to stretch my wings. Freedom to soar above the rest. A permanent role, central to the company’s efforts. What I’m basically saying is that I don’t believe the managing director could run a hundred-yard sprint, and the Chairman needs his head read.
Yes, your offer has been generous. And it’s gratifying to see that the little people would like me to stay. Nothing is more rewarding, to a career high-flier like myself, than the plaudits of our customer base. But, let’s face it, they don’t pay me do they? And, while having memos written about your tenacious ability and fierce negotiation techniques is all well and good, it doesn’t feed the kids does it? And I fully intend to have some kids, as soon as I’ve sold the Belgravia bachelor pad and exchanged on that six-bedroom town house.
I’d like to take this opportunity to thank some of the guys who have made my time here so much fun. There’s Carlo, our well-loved Italian Chief Operating Officer. When they say “the buck stops here”, they really mean it with this guy. I know you won’t take your eye of the ball when I’m gone, Carlo. The behind-the-scenes boys: how could I forget the good times we’ve had together? I remember some last-ditch manoeuvring which foiled those smash-and-grab raiders from Merseyside not so very long ago: I’ll miss you fellas. And then there’s the guys in front of me: the people who take the fight to the enemy, who push the opposition and keep us ticking over. At times, I just stood back and watched in awe and you all ran rings round the competitors. And finally, my two main men: the guys who stood alongside me through thick and thin (although not necessarily at the same time). We’ve worked together, we’ve learned from each other, we’ve stood tall and we’ve done the job when it matters. So it’s the hardest thing of all to tell you (without wanting to mince words) that I’m buggering off and you won’t see me for dust.
Best of luck next year. I hope I don’t come up against you in the coming years but, the market being what it is, I wouldn’t bet against it. We’ll always have the good times. And remember: it’s just business, never personal.