I work at a non-profit in California, where the entire team of 6 has become increasingly unhappy with our Director. She has been around for 13 years, is an old dog who refuses to learn new tricks, earns a six-figure salary, and hinders the work of us all in the organization. For example, she is short-sighted and would charge a sponsor exorbitant amounts for access to our contacts, instead of building strategic partnership. Her technology skills are vastly outdated.

While she's at the top of the organization, our board of directors isn't happy with her performance. They're afraid to let her go for fear she'll sue.

How do we get her to quit, preferably without another six-figure severance package?

(NB1: asking on behalf of someone else)
(NB2: I'm surprised at the utter lack of Google hits for the phrase in the title)

  • consider editing the question to make it better fit site topics laid out in help center. In particular, this guidance may help to learn what is expected of questions here. Good luck!
    – gnat
    Oct 9 '14 at 7:45
  • Also, personally, I do not really fire anyone (unless there has been gross misconduct), but I do ask people to resign. I don't pester them or anything about it, but I do highlight the things I'm not happy with. Consider it similar to impeaching someone. Does that have enough hits for you? By the way, this conversation needs to come from the board, not from your boss's subordinates, but you may submit a list of complaints to the board. Mar 22 '17 at 10:54
  • Not for nothing, but this is exactly what the US Declaration of Independence had been. But remember, usually, when you impeach one bad boss, you really just open the door to another...at least with this one, you know what you've got. Mar 22 '17 at 11:05

tl;dr answer - YOU don't.

First, are the board happy with her work? Are they accurately appraised of what is going on? If the answer to the first is "no" then the wheels are likely in motion to remove her already. If "yes" to both, then you are digging your own hole by undermining her. The only situation where you're likely to get the change you want and need to do something is if the board believe all is well but are clearly misinformed - in which case all you can realistically do is inform them.

As for "creative" ways to induce her to quit, your jurisdiction may vary but in many places you'd fall foul of the law - bullying, harassment, constructive dismissal - which is a path you really don't want to go down.


Short answer : you don't.

If she's your boss you don't get to fire her. From what you say about her, explaining to her why she's not a good fit for the job won't make her go away. And "creative ideas" that come to mind are basically harassment et illegal in most countries.

The only thing you can do, if she's not on top of the food chain, is talking about this issue to her boss. But you not being happy with her work doesn't mean her boss isn't. So don't put to mut expactations in it.

  • She has no boss, but the board of directors isn't happy with her performance. They're afraid to let her go for fear she'll sue. Oct 8 '14 at 20:15
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    Well in that case I'm afraid there's not much you can do. As unpleasant as it is, you probably have only two options here : suck it up or walk out the door
    – ero
    Oct 8 '14 at 20:39

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