01/06/2014 04:37 pm ET Updated Mar 08, 2014

8 Hilarious Resignation Fails (and Wins) of 2013


1. Hilary Clinton, former Secretary of State

In February 2013, Hillary Clinton sent to President Obama her resignation letter as Secretary of State, dutifully thanking him for his friendship and the opportunity to serve in his Cabinet.

Slate's Byron Boneparth called the letter "a bit wordy," but zeroed in on the "most noteworthy element: the odd choice of typeface."

The font was promptly crowdsourced to be "Poor Richard," which Boneparth termed not just "ugly" but "obscure ugly."

"Will Hillary Clinton's Terrible Taste in Typefaces Sink Her Presidential Chances?" Slate asked. "If Clinton does decide to run for the highest office in the land," Boneparth opined, "she might want to avoid awkward fonts with tall capitals, short lowercases, and a general impression of fustiness."

2. Andrew Mason, Founder and former CEO of Groupon

In March, Andrew Mason, the founder and CEO of Groupon, resigned.

"After four-and-a-half intense and wonderful years as CEO of Groupon," he wrote, "I've decided that I'd like to spend more time with my family. Just kidding -- I was fired today. If you're wondering why... you haven't been paying attention."

3. Burger King employee

In April, a Burger King employee resigned.

"I have been waiting for what seems like forever to inform you that I'm resigning," he informed his management. "I've hated working for the company since the day I was hired. I don't like the work, I don't like my fellow employees that cannot speak the language, and I don't like you."

In what appears to be an unnecessary conclusion, he added, "Don't worry about writing me a reference. I don't need references (especially from Burger King) where I'm heading to (law school). So, consider our bridges burnt."

4. Chris Holmes, former Stansted Airport Border Force member

Also in April, Chris Holmes, aka "Mr. Cake", submitted a resignation letter to his managers in the form of a cake.

"Today is my 31st birthday," according to the black icing on the white frosting, "and having recently become a father, I now realize how precious life is and how important it is to spend my time doing something that makes me, and other people, happy."

He added: "If you enjoy this cake, you can order more at"

5. Kevin Smelker, former Dallas Independent School District Operations Chief

In August, The Dallas Morning News reported the resignation letter of outgoing School operations chief Kevin Smelker had been spiced up with the assistance of a writer under contract to the district.

The first draft of Smelker's resignation letter praised district Superintendent Mike Miles and contained only "general" criticisms of members of the school board. The final letter went much further, accusing trustees of behaving in a "dysfunctional and disgraceful manner" and singling out one trustee as being "relentless and ridiculous" and "unbelievably uninformed."

A subsequent investigation by the local U.S. Attorney's office found Superintendent Miles had assisted in writing Smelker's resignation letter and used it "as an opportunity to generate positive publicity for himself and negative publicity for the board," and may have leaked the letter to the media.

Investigators interviewed 30 people and analyzed more than 411,000 emails from 23 employees. After the investigators issued their findings, Miles said he was "not going anywhere."

6. K. Brian London, former Director of Iowa Dept. of Public Safety

In September, the former director of the Iowa Department of Public Safety, K. Brian London, resigned after serving just 11 months in office. His resignation letter reportedly lifted passages from a 1999 speech by a retired U.S. Navy officer.

Captain John Williams gave a speech in 1999 in which he said, "I close with one final thought. We weave the fabric of our lives slowly and draw from many strands -- most importantly, of family, but also of friends, experiences, accomplishments, disappointments, hopes for the future, and shared and personal memory."

Fourteen years later, London wrote to Iowa Governor Terry Branstad, "I close with one final thought. We weave the fabric of our lives slowly and draw from many strands -- most importantly, of family, but also of friends, experiences, accomplishments, disappointments, hopes for the future, and shared and personal memories."

Changing the last word from "memory" to "memories", perhaps a nod to grammarians, didn't earn him any points with critics.

A repeat offender, London had recycled this exact passage earlier in his career, including it in a 2010 letter of resignation in Florida.

7. Jennifer Kreis, former Lululemon Ambassador

In November, Jennifer Kreis resigned as an "ambassador" for the Lululemon sportswear company after CEO Chip Wilson said in an interview with Bloomberg TV that "some women's bodies" aren't compatible with his company's yoga tights.

"People ultimately do reveal their true [colors]," Kreis wrote, "and I think it is beyond disappointing that after the tremendous effort of time, effort and money on all our parts that this hypocrisy has been lurking behind the 'Ta ta tamers' and the 'Free To Be' tank all this time, and that it took one interview to expose Mr. Wilson for who he really is."

Her message to Mr. Wilson: "999.99999% of his employees' thighs touch and in fact RUB."

8. Richard Tseng, former copywriter at Arnold Worldwide

Finally, copywriter Richard Tseng resigned in 2013 from his job at advertising agency Arnold Worldwide with this letter:

"In Canada's frozen north, during a particularly harsh winter, a starving Eskimo tribe (Inuit for the politically correct) was forced to abandon their eldest matron on the ice. Being a tough old broad, she followed her clan for several days, making sure to keep just out of sight.

One day, a polar bear happened upon her. Taking her for a straggler and an easy meal, it strolled up to her, mouth open, ready to swallow with one gulp. The Eskimo lady waited and, once in range, plunged her walking stick down the bear's gullet.

Hours later the clansmen could see her, cresting a snow hill, dragging behind her enough meat to feed the whole tribe.

Times are tough, and circumstances beyond anybody's control have dictated that I must leave. Totally understand. But, as Rahm Emanuel would say, "Never fucking waste a fucking crisis, fucker." Which is another way of saying that it's actually an opportunity. And I intend on seizing it.

So thanks to every member of this tribe called Arnold. It's been an honor and pleasure working with you. I hope our paths cross again. Who knows? I might even be back one day. Hopefully with enough polar bear sushi to share.

In the words of a fellow young Canadian:

Never say never,

Rich Tseng