Denis Abrams, CEO of paint maker Benjamin Moore, was fired from his job over a dinner cruise to Bermuda that was charged to the company’s tab, according to an article in the New York Post. A group of officials from parent company Berkshire Hathaway, owned by billionaire Warren Buffet, showed up at the paint company’s Montvale, N.J., office two weeks ago and escorted Abrams from the building, the Post reported.
A Benjamin Moore spokeswoman confirmed Abrams had been terminated and replaced by Bob Merritt, a restaurant industry veteran.
Ironically, Abrams and his executive team, along with a few other guests, were supposedly celebrating their first quarterly sales increase since 2007, the year Abrams took over the top job. But according to the article, the 62-year-old executive was not popular with the rank-and-file workers, who have lived through five years of dwindling commissions, frozen salaries, and numerous coworkers ushered out the door.
Retailers also voiced complaints about price hikes and exclusive deals with large distributors at the expensive of smaller independents.
Disgruntled employees may have been the ones who led to Abrams’s downfall. A source told the Post that one of the wives on the yacht cruise posted photos on her Facebook page, and news of the party spread through the office.
A Benjamin Moore spokeswoman confirmed Abrams had been terminated and replaced by Bob Merritt, a restaurant industry veteran. She had no further comment at the time. But in a June 28 email to Home Channel News, company spokeswoman Diana Dozier said: “Mr. Abrams was let go due to the difference in strategy” from Warren Buffet, particularly when it came to distribution channels and brand strategy.