Diary of a retired CEO

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Retirement Day

by David Mwenda

Anthony was seated at his desk and he was looking at the time. It was 12 o’clock; his feet were on his desk trying to figure out something. He was really in the mood for some sushi; he picked his phone to tell her secretary his choice for lunch.

“Rachel, I need you to call and order for some lunch sushi from the Japanese restaurant we went yesterday.”

Rachel replied affirmatively and by half past, the delivery was set upon his desk. He typically does not dine in his office but today he had zero ‘f*&%$s’ to give.  For Anthony his schedule allowed little time for lunch. Being the CEO of a leading news website there was no such thing as sitting down for a peaceful lunch. The word peace never had meaning to him especially when he was in the office.  

It was normally in the presence of a journalist who wanted to do an interview with him, management staff or editors who felt the need to come to appeal for them to be included in budgets. There was always someone with something to tell him something even at lunch time.

A few minutes after his lunch is brought in his friend Mark enters the room. Rachel warns Anthony and he tells her its fine and lets him in.

Mark asked “Final day at the office and this is what you choose to eat?”

“You know I like this kind of stuff and anyway I this stuff nowadays” Anthony shot back at him.

Mark was one of those guys who was close to Anthony they have started the company 30 years ago and he had opted to leave the company and take early retirement. He was tired of the news room and he was not ready to come back any time soon. He was the reason Anthony was choosing to retire also. He seemed to be doing great sitting at his retirement home and having fun with his boys who had also retired.

The two got together for lunch and they caught up. The noise that came out of that office was deafening as both of them laughed at each other’s jokes and stories from the time they had started the company.

At 2 pm Rachel came for Anthony

“They are ready for you sir, down at 3rd Floor.”

“I’ll be down there in a few Rachel thanks”

Both of them left the office and headed for the buildings lift.

The ride was to be one of the very few before he finally called it quits at Blair Media. The company he had built from the ground up and would be leaving it to someone else. He was ready to retire in his head he was ready he was really ready.

The lift clicked at 3rd floor, the largest conference room, everyone was in there from top and middle level managers to staff who were not on assignment Everyone was there to say good-bye to the man they had considered a leader to them for the last 30 years. He was a man who had sat in many departments and was likeable to everyone. Everyone encouraged him to speak as they shouted “SPEEECH! SPEECH”

“I really did not know what to say, you guys backed me into a corner I’m just here for the cake”

Everyone erupted in laughter. It was characteristic of him to make every moment a happy moment.

“Honestly given a chance I would continue coming back to work every day but I’m becoming old to sit in long meeting and looking at budget proposals so I decided to take retirement. Guys it been a great honor working with you guys but we have to say good-bye and wish you the best.”

After unending applause he finally got off the stage that had been erected for him and he went over to the cake which had been brought in for him and popped champagne brought in for him.

The celebrations went in for hours and finally ended at 10 pm. He was ready to go home he went back to his office to make last-minute arrangements about his things and left the office after saying good-bye to Rachel who would be retained as his personal assistant. He headed to ground floor to find his limo revving up with his driver Onyango waiting to drive him home. It was a new dawn the dawn of being a retired CEO.

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