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Greg Smith, a former executive at Goldman Sachs Group Inc., lambasted the firm, saying it had betrayed its culture and put profits ahead of client interests:
- In the piece, Mr. Smith said that executives sometimes referred to clients as "muppets:"
- "It makes me ill how callously people talk about ripping their clients off. Over the last 12 months I have seen five different managing directors refer to their own clients as “muppets,” sometimes over internal e-mail."
- The resignation quickly ignited chatter on social media, with the terms "Am Leaving Goldman Sachs" and "Greg Smith" becoming trending topics in the United States on Twitter on Wednesday morning.
- This tweet, for example, from BBC business editor Robert Peston was retweeted more than 400 times.
- It hasn't taken long for the spoofs to start:
- Mr. Smith now becomes part of a group of executives and employees whose very public resignations went viral. Here's a roundup:
- In March 2009, Jake DeSantis, a former executive at the American International Group, sent this letter to Edward M. Liddy, the chief executive of A.I.G.
- In February 2010, former Sun Microsystems CEO Jonathan Schwartz announced his departure in a Haiku on Twitter.
- Social media already was abuzz with chatter about the firing of former Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz. It was exacerbated with her email announcing her firing that was sent from her iPad.
- Another "I Quit" explainer, from news blogger Jim Romenesko.
- It wasn't a letter. But after JetBlue flight attendant grabbed two beers and slid down the emergency chute, online commenters went wild.
- Writer Paul Carr announced his resignation from the AOL-owned technology blog TechCrunch with a post to the blog.
- His boss responded: