This Daniel Guy Is Definitely Getting Fired

We’ve all sat next to people having loud plane phone conversations before takeoff. But I rarely hear people yelling extremely sensitive corporate information around a group of absolute strangers. Both happened to me last night.

The guy who stood in line behind me, and eventually sat next to me, spent about ten minutes on the phone while we boarded the plane and up until takeoff. He went into a lot of detail about how the COO, Daniel, had to go. Because, apparently, Daniel keeps sweeping bad stuff under the rug.

I’m calling the guy on the phone/plane “Moe” for this post to keep things straight. He was talking to a guy I’ll call Larry, who I guessed was either the CEO or a director of the company.

There’s a new guy coming in, I’ll call him Curly, who’s either taking the CEO spot or Daniel’s spot. Moe was concerned that Curly would get spooked by Daniel’s firing, which was the main point of the conversation.

Since every name was repeated to me over and over I know the actual names of this COO getting fired (sorry Daniel, but you have to deal with this bad stuff, not just ignore it), as well as Larry, Moe and Curly.

So just to be clear on who’s doing what – Moe was talking loudly on the plane to Larry and was concerned that Curly, who’s yet to join the team, might be upset that Daniel is going to get fired.

Because I’m able to use Google I also now know the name of the company involved. I could have figured it out on the plane by firing up a conversation, but I wanted to challenge myself to figuring it out on my own.

I’m not going to just out all of this information here, but I probably would have a year ago. Or at least given Daniel a call to let him know that he’s out and Curly is taking his place. He’s completely out of the loop, unlike everyone on my flight.

46 thoughts on “This Daniel Guy Is Definitely Getting Fired

  1. Scott says:

    What do you think Daniels likely play would be, where you to tip him off?

    • Michael Arrington says:

      Given his propensity to just hide from bad news, I assume he’d fret privately but ultimately do nothing and wait for the end to happen. But who knows, maybe he’d lead an internal coup and oust the other characters. It would be cool if he sat next to me on my next flight and did it by phone.

    • CaffeinatedTech says:

      Stalk from office to office with an Armalite AR-10 carbine gas-powered semi-automatic weapon, pumping round after round into colleagues and co-workers.

  2. you just made my day Mike 🙂

  3. Well probably you should do just that – this story might serve a classic case for careless information disclosure.

  4. Some apparently believe the “cone of silence” actually exists and deploys automatically when they press “talk.”

  5. vali says:

    give daniel a call.

  6. Mike says:

    I think you should say who it is because there’s several Daniels who are C.O.Os according to Google. They’re probably all nervous now.

    Was it any of these Mike?

    Calgary, Canada Area – C.O.O/ Engineering Manager at ProTrace Engineering Inc.
    Daniel Plenzik. C.O.O/ Engineering Manager at ProTrace Engineering Inc. Location: Calgary, Canada Area; Industry: Oil & Energy

    7 Mar 2011 – CorVel Corp. (CRVL) CEO/President/COO Daniel J Starck sells 16763 Shares, Stocks: CRVL, release date:Mar. 07, 2011.

    2 Jun 2011 – Emergent BioSolutions Inc. (EBS) President & COO Daniel Abdun-nabi sells 178515 Shares, Stocks: EBS, release date:Jun. 02, 2011

  7. dchana says:

    Could this all be staged just because everyone all know who you are?

  8. Brian Cuban says:

    Had the same thing happen at Starbucks last week. The group at the table next to me strategized the firing of an employee right down to letting me know the severance package and the pretext they would use to make it “for cause”. I live tweeted the entire conversation leaving out the company and employees name.

  9. johnsuder says:

    Enjoy your Sunday, Daniel. Monday is gonna suck.

  10. Raj Namra says:

    I am going to start the guessing game

    Dan Levin –

  11. The guy knows you are Mike Arrington and wants to pull a fast one. Makes up a Daniel story and starts disclosing information like nobody’s business.

    Now, he is reading this blog post and smiling

    Had so much fun reading this Mike 🙂


  12. Jason Jacobs says:

    You mentioned above that a year ago, you probably would have outed those involved. What changed from last year to this year to make you not want to do so now? Not saying it is the wrong move to withhold it, just wondering what changed.

  13. Daniel Smith says:

    Tech amplifies bad behavior. 15 years ago that jerk would have been ranting into a payphone, and we could all just walk by.

  14. ishwar15 says:

    Theory: He knew who you were and he was hoping you’d scoop this.

  15. Kat Gordon says:

    I have overheard plenty a juicy conversation at Hobbee’s in Palo Alto. When you are a woman there with your kids, folks seem to assume you’re a tuned out mush brain. Little do they suspect you own an ad agency + work with many startups in the area.

  16. carlosg says:

    Can you at least tell us if the company involved was a tech company or a well known company?

  17. Some days having the name Daniel just doesn’t pay off…

  18. Greg says:

    No one is as good at Internet as Mike. Everyone should be worried.

  19. guessing Vostu says:

    Daniel Kafie?

  20. I hate myself for being so highly entertained by this.

  21. Tom says:

    Excellent post!

    I work in Central London. When I was on the train to work last year a guy was discussing company losses (which wasn’t really terrible) but he then went on to read out a COMPANY CREDIT CARD number and security number loud and clear. He was about 2 rows in front of me and was almost shouting.

    A lot of people get so lost in a conversation with colleagues that they begin to think its just them and their colleague in the conversation! People need to be extremely careful about who is in earsho of their phonecalls!

  22. Tiffany says:

    Add on Mike’s likely Seattle-SFO or vice versa air route, the mystery will unravel itself.

  23. Daniel Gold says:

    It always pays off having the name Daniel.. especially when its followed by a last name like Gold HA!

  24. Planes, trains…

    I stood at an automated ticket machine in my local station. Busy time just before one of the fast trains into London. Big queue for the manned ticket desk must have forced the guy next to me to use a machine for the first time. He manages to select his ticket, puts his credit card into the slot then when it asks for the pin number mutters something under his breath and pulls out his mobile:

    “Gary, can you go on my email for me?”


    “Go to Gmail. Enter my email address. That’s


    “Ok, yes. The password is serendipity”


    “Great. Now if you look in the docs you’ll see one called ‘finance info’. Can you tell me what it says for the VISA PIN?”

    100% true. I just changed the email address a little. The password really was serendipity, which seems faintly ironic if someone unethical also overheard and cleared the guy out…

  25. someboringdude says:

    The game is afoot, peeps who google.

  26. You should facebook friend Curly. and congratulate him.

  27. Nick Kellet says:

    Funny but yesterday I had the misfortune of sitting at a bar in Toronto airport and suffered the displeasure of listening in to the ramblings of a sad old guy on his iphone.

    His sexual commentary of his colleagues were enough for a lawsuit.

    Then with his male colleagues, he was sure trying to undermine people – one person after another. It was really quite sad.

    That company did not sound like a great place to work.

    Amazing how people think they live in a sound bubble.

  28. David Callahan says:

    … Daniel probably knows by now that he is going to be sacked. My suggestion would be for him to resign immediately, citing “family reasons” — this way, management would be relieved not having to deal with a situation that might turn ugly, plus, “Daniel”most likely would get a good recommendation for his next job — which could be a better fit for his talents, personality, etc.
    My personal experience? I have never been fired… a couple of times I saw it coming, but I quit right away and everybody seemed to be happy, particularly myself, relieved by leaving a snake’s nest and because I did what turned out to be the best for me… this included [both times] nice severance checks…

  29. Maybe you could give him a reason to sue the employers for wrongful termination…

  30. Testing says:


  31. ft says:

    if it ain’t juicy enough, it would never had made it to this blog. so it’s some known dan of a hot company.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: