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Oklahoma CEO prays with, insults, then fires employees

A Mustang publishing company CEO fired 25 employees this week after announcing the dismissals in an emotional staff meeting that was recorded.
by Don Mecoy Modified: June 1, 2012 at 3:43 pm •  Published: June 1, 2012

The CEO of a Mustang publishing company said it was “business as usual” on Friday, a day after he fired 25 people in a move he announced in a staff meeting marked by threats and prayer.

“We let 25 go yesterday — hated it,” said Ryan Tate, head of Tate Publishing.

During the staff meeting, which was recorded, Tate sprinkled biblical references with the stern announcement.

Tate, who opened the meeting with a prayer, said he had been too tolerant of workers who posted their opinions and suggestions about the company online or in anonymous emails. “I should have just fired you on the spot.”

He said an email that claimed the company was planning to outsource local jobs to the company's new operation in the Philippines prompted the firings. And, Tate said, that email was incorrect.

“You morons that sat back and wanted to create and generate conspiracy theories on the ‘what-ifs' or the potentials of what could be happening are stupid,” he told the employees.

On Friday, Tate said it was a tough decision to fire the 25 employees, but he would do it again.

“I've got to protect the interests of my company, my artists, my staff,” he said Friday.

His father and the company founder, Richard Tate, said one employee who was leaking information also had a poor work history.

“If you're a pain in the ass to me, I'm going to fire you too,” Richard Tate said.

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by Don Mecoy
Business Editor
Business Editor Don Mecoy has covered business news for more than a decade after earlier working on The Oklahoman's city, state and metro news desks, including a stint as city editor. He has won state and regional journalism awards for business,...
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