You're fired: Five successful people you wouldn't believe have been sacked

In light of this week's AOL firing fiasco, we take a look at some of the world's most successful people who have been fired in the past.

by Gabriella Griffith
Last Updated: 09 Oct 2013

Getting fired is awful (well, it was for me, when I got my P45 from Londis at the tender age of 15). There’s rejection, self-loathing, confusion, abject fear of destitution – it is generally an unpleasant scenario for most parties involved.

One of the biggest business stories this week has been about just that, a firing. The unceremonious sacking of a lesser-known creative director called Abel Lenz. For anyone not familiar with the unfortunate series of events, AOL chief executive Tim Armstrong was conducting a phone conference (with 1,000 participants) when he let rip on Lenz, creative director of AOL’s news division Patch, and fired him.

‘Abel, put that camera down right now! Abel, you’re fired. Out!’ screamed Armstrong.

Bad enough to be fired in front of 1,000 of your colleagues, but a recording of the conversation went viral. Millions of people have now listened to Lenz’s sacking. Lenz tweeted soon after his dismissal to say ‘no comment’ but let everyone know which bar he was in drowning his sorrows (Old Town Bar, Manhattan, incidentally).

No need to worry, though: getting fired has historically worked out quite well for a number of successful people. Here’s a list of hugely successful people who have heard the words, ‘You’re fired.’

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