Jeffrey Hollender, cofounder of Seventh Generation, sent out an email today announcing that he had been terminated from the company.
On Monday, October 25th, the Seventh Generation Board announced to it’s shareholders and employees that they have “decided to end the company’s employment relationship” with me “. . .without cause”. Though I cannot discuss the unpleasant circumstances that led to this, I wanted you to hear this news directly from me.
Hollender founded the company more than 20 years ago turning Seventh Generation in to a leader in creating natural products for the home. I’ve long admired Seventh Generation and Jeffrey’s commitment to social responsibility, including their commitment to their employees. The nature of this announcement is puzzling given their past history.
Many of us at Care2 are also fans of Seventh Generation non-toxic products and we have been pleased to have had them as an advertiser on Care2.
A letter from Peter Graham, Seventh Generation’s board chairman, that was sent to company shareholders and was reprinted on Marc Gunther’s blog, explains why the board felt it was time to end the company’s relationship with Hollender:
To a large extent, present circumstances mirror those at many other companies whose founders have made the decision to turn over the reins to someone else. As organizations grow, so do their managerial requirements. Eventually these increasing layers of complexity demand the recruitment of experienced professional leadership whose abilities and experiences are required to move forward. This is the crossroads at which Seventh Generation now stands.
According to Chrystie Heimert, Director of Public Relations at Seventh Generation, the company is looking for a new CEO who will be the “one decision maker at the top” and have “unambiguous authority and accountability” to the Seventh Generation Board and its shareholders. It had been reported that current CEO, Chuck Maniscalco, is a candidate for the new CEO position. (Maniscalco resigned as CEO in September, but agreed to stay with Seventh Generation during the transition.) As of this morning, Heimert said that Maniscalco has not expressed interest in remaining as CEO and a search committee is being established to find a new leader.
Photo credit: via Flickr by Business Innovation Factory