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Toronto Blue Jays fans woke up this morning to the incredible news that GM Alex Anthopoulos was leaving the team and not accepting a contract extension. Most believe that it has nothing to do with money or contract term, but more to do with philosophical differences between Alex and incoming Blue Jays President, Mark Shapiro.
It is a high profile example of poor leadership right out of the gates for Shapiro and a reminder of why people leave bosses, not companies.
Marc Normandin of SB Nation writes that “The report out there is that Shapiro “scolded” Anthopoulos in their lone meeting before his hiring for trading so many top prospects in 2015. Since we know that Anthopoulos turned down an extension from the Jays, and the report is he did not turn it down due to money, we can pretty easily put two and two together here.”
Let’s forget for a minute that the GM being ‘scolded’ just put his team in the playoffs for the first time in 20+ years, ignited a fan base that delivered mind-blowing TV ratings, and is loved by the team’s fans like no GM I can remember. And, Shapiro was the President…in Cleveland.
It’s more important that he’s managed to alienate a high performing senior leader in his organization (Anthopoulos) before he’s even officially started as President. By all accounts, Anthopoulos loved his job, the team and the city. The sentiment was returned as he was often referred to as the nice guy who finished first.
So pushing out Alex could not have been an easy task as reports are that he walked away from lucrative 5 year contract on principle.
People leave bosses, not companies, so it should be interesting to watch the organization over Shapiro’s tenure.
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