In U r sakd: Is there a nicer way to fire?, The Economist describes how most of the staffers at a British company were fired by text message on their cell phones:
There are, Paul Simon once sang, 50 ways to leave your lover. There may be fewer ways to sack your staff, but most are unpleasant — though rarely as nasty as the method chosen last week by Accident Group, a firm that specialises in personal-injury claims, after Amulet, its Luxembourg-based parent, ran out of money.
Accident Group’s 2,500 staff received a series of text messages on their mobile phones, telling them to call a number.
There, a recorded message from the company’s insolvency administrators at PricewaterhouseCoopers informed them that, ‘‘All staff who are being retained will be contacted today. If you have not been spoken to you are therefore being made redundant.’’
The new CEO of VodaFone evidently saw this story in the news -- a clause in his contract prevents him from being fired by "electronic mail or any other electronic messaging service."