I made the announcement by e-mail. The outpour of response from colleagues was overwhelming (and mostly shocked), making the rest of the week bittersweet and exhilarating. But nothing prepared me for the massive chain of calls, text messages, and e-mails from my own team of 39 visual merchandisers across India. Most of them implored for me to stay. Those 24 hours reminded me how painful it was—and still is—to finally decide to leave the company—and part with the exuberant men and women of my team.
My dearest VMs,
I was incredibly moved by the e-mails and phone calls that I received from you. I honestly did not expect this. I thought you disliked my bossy, picky, pesty attitudes! :) The overwhelming show of love and affection from this team continues to move me!
Thank you very much for the very kind words. I will keep those mails and SMS'es with me.
I know that most of you have taken my decision with hurtful surprise, especially those of you who have been working closely with me. It has been a painful decision for me personally, but I must move on. There are personal concerns in Manila that I have to attend to.
I leave the organization confident that you have learned and will carry with you what you have learned from me, especially about the need to support and nurture each other. The (senior visual merchandisers) have been trained to take the big projects forward, and these will involve all of you. You must prove to your store heads that you have indeed learned and grown in the past one year. For the newcomers, you have your seniors to emulate. Please continue the mark of excellence that has been the stamp pad of the VM team.
This is not my last e-mail to you, I promise :) In the meantime, please concentrate on the events that are coming up very soon. Please do not reply to this e-mail en masse; if you need to, do so privately.
:: Paul A.