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.
Some of the fired employees were responsible or helped those responsible for the leaked information, Ryan Tate said. Other employees lost their jobs because they aren't currently needed, he said. About seven of the positions already had been filled on Friday, Tate said.
The leaks about Tate Publishing's expansion plans were hurting the company and helping its competitors, Tate said. Tate said he plans to file a lawsuit against several former employees for revealing information.
“That sense of entitlement will not fly at Tate Publishing,” he said.
Tate Publishing describes itself as “Christian-based, family-owned, mainline publishing organization with a mission to discover and market unknown authors.” Ryan Tate said the company employs about 200 people.
A former employee who was not among those fired Thursday, but who asked that her name not be used because she still has friends at the company, said she enjoyed working at Tate Publishing.
She said Ryan Tate was infuriated by the information about the company that was circulating in emails and Internet postings.
“He doesn't usually call us morons,” the former employee said. “I feel really bad for my (former) co-workers.”