Tony Hayward Kiss-Off: Top 10 "You're Fired"s in U.S. History

Not since Beelzebub was dumped from Heaven by the Big Guy himself has somebody been so deserving of losing his job as BP's CEO Tony Hayward. The greasy executive will officially step down October 1, and his imminent departure got us thinking about other famous firings in history. Take it from here, Donald.

10. Gen. Stanley McChrystal
Even if you work at Mickey D's, you know that if you badmouth the boss, you're sent packing. So when your boss also happens to be the president of the United States, well, you'd think General McChrystal would know that. But you'd be wrong.




Robert Bruce Murray on Flickr
Are you with Coco?

​9. Conan O'Brien. 
"I'm with Coco" became part of pop culture only after Conan got hosed from his Late Night gig on NBC earlier this year. Sometimes the same ones that build you up stab you in the back (talking to you, Jay). 







8. Saturday-Night Massacre 
The noose was quickly tightening around tricky Dick Nixon's neck in 1973 after special prosecutor Archibald Cox subpoenaed taped conversations the president had in the Oval Office regarding Watergate. Nixon refused and tried to have Cox fired. But Attorney General Elliot Richardson, who hired Cox, and Deputy Attorney General William Ruckelshaus both refused and resigned. It took Solicitor General Robert Bork to do the dirty work. But the damage was done -- Nixon would eventually be de facto fired anyway.

David Shankbone

​7. Mickey Rourke 
OK, so Mickey doesn't rate with other people on our list, but he redeemed himself in The Wrestler,  and that's got to count for something! Long before he looked like his current self, he got dumped from his job as a movie usher in Miami when he exchanged blows with a co-worker. He's been getting into fights and movies ever since.







6. Billy Martin 
We could cull a lot of famous firings from sports, but we'll stick with hard-drinking Billy the Kid, who repeatedly served as George Steinbrenner's whipping boy as head of the Yankees in the 1970s and '80s. He was let go by the pinstripers five times and other MLB teams four times.

5. Janet Cooke

This Washington Post writer won a Pulitzer Prize for her story about "Jimmy," an 8-year-old heroin addict in 1980. Only problem was, it was Cook who was likely high when she made up the imaginary dope fiend. When the paper found out, execs quickly kicked her to the curb.




Nappy-headed who?

4. Don Imus

Since when is calling somebody a "nappy-headed ho" a firing offense? Well, since Don Imus did it to the Rutgers University women's basketball team in 2007.










Acaben's on flickr
If this guy can be fired, is anyone safe?

​3. 3. Steve Jobs.

Steve got jobbed from his when the same guy he brought in to run Apple -- John Sculley -- canned him. No worries. Sculley eventually got the ax, and Jobs came back to Apple and gave us the iPod, iPhone, iPad, and iEverythng else.


A Journey Round My Skull on flickr
No joke. Rudy got cut from the team.

2. Rudyard Kipling

One of the greatest authors and poets of the 19th and 20th centuries and a Nobel Prize winner was fired as a reporter by the San Francisco Examiner. His editors said he didn't' know how to use the English language. I feel ya, Rudy!




lesliepear on flickr
At least he already outlived half the Beatles.

​1. Pete Best

Best had the worst firing of all time when he was dumped by the Beatles after two years of banging the drums for those bowl-cut-haired limeys. Maybe worse than losing wealth and celebrity was being replaced by Ringo Starr. It took Best 20 years -- during which he worked as a civil servant -- to get over it before starting his own group, the Pete Best Band. He says he was never given a reason for the firing.

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