The long goodbye
As Dominic D’Alessandro heads into retirement, he is being honored at various celebrations. Last Wednesday, the evening before the annual meeting, D’Alessandro was feted at a dinner attended by senior management, the board of directors, and the forty-eight Stars of Excellence, the top sales performers from around the world. As a parting gift, D’Alessandro received a maquette of a portion of the Community sculpture that is featured on the outside back cover of my book.
At the annual meeting itself, an occasion he described as “bittersweet,” D’Alessandro was given a standing ovation at the end of his speech. Not only was it his last speech as CEO, it was the first such occasion in which he did not tackle some weighty topic with his trenchant views. He reported on the numbers, thanked everyone, and sat down.
Tomorrow, employees at head office get a chance to shake his hand and say farewell when various departments gather at designated times in a format similar to a New Year’s levee.
As Chair Gail Cook-Bennett said at the annual meeting, “We look forward to seeing how you define retirement.”
Posting a correction. The dinner the eve before the AGM is an annual celebration of the Stars of Excellence honourees and was not a farewell to Mr. D?Alessandro, although I’m certain most to the opportunity to honour the departing leader. Also, the Stars of Excellence award winners are not the top sales performers, rather they are top performers for each division in all roles across the organization from operations to actuarial, etc.