A chief executive who sent his staff an e-mail accusing them
of being lazy and threatening them with the sack has seen the share price of
his company plummet after his message was posted on the Internet.
Stock in the Cerner Corporation based in Kansas City dropped
by 22 per cent over concerns about staff morale after Neal Patterson sent his
message to managers giving them two weeks to shape up.
The message said, “I have been making this point for over
one year. We are getting less than 40 hours of work from a large number of
KC-based employees. The parking lot is sparsely used at 8am and likewise at
5pm. As managers – you either do not know what your employees are doing or you
do not care. You have created expectations on the work effort which allowed
this to happen inside Cerner, creating a very unhealthy environment.
“In either case you have a problem and you will fix it or I
will replace you.”
A week later the e-mail appeared on a Yahoo financial
message board and Wall Street analysts began receiving calls from worried
Patterson, who founded health care company Cerner in 1979,
told the New York Times that his blunt management style was a result of his
upbringing on a farm in Oklahoma.