Don Schroeder is in the early days of what his $6-million severance agreement describes as the â€œquiet period.â€ For at least the next three years, the ex-president and CEO of Tim Hortons is forbidden from uttering a public word about the closed-door discussions that led to his swiftâ€”and still unexplainedâ€”exit. He is not permitted to speak to the media. He cannot say or write anything â€œdisparaging, derogatory or defamatoryâ€ about the company that canned him. And he has agreed, after consulting with a lawyer, not to sue.
Even during private conversations, Schroeder must choose his words carefully. Clause 17, for example, allows him to share the details of his abrupt dismissal with â€œimmediate familyâ€â€”but only on the condition that their mouths remain equally shut.
In the meantime, as the 65-year-old settles into his new role as a well-paid (and tight-lipped) Hortons consultant, the full story behind his bizarre firing remains as much of a Bay Street mystery as it did that morning two months ago, when Canadaâ€™s favourite coffee shop announced it was suddenly in need of a new boss.
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