top of page
  • Writer's pictureRobert Adelson

Don’t Let Disparagement or Defamation Blackball Your Executive Career Prospects

Updated: Dec 29, 2021

Last Tuesday, on April 27, 2021, CEOWorld magazine published an article I wrote on “Don’t Let Disparagement or Defamation Blackball Your Executive Career Prospects”.

This new article is designed for CEOs, C-level and senior executives, who may face, on occasion, issues of disparagement and even defamation, in connection with employment termination. For those executives who do face this prospect at the time of employment termination, disparagement or defamation can have effects on your career and prospects, both short and long term, that can be even more far reaching than how much severance will be paid.

The article first discusses three such situations that faced C-level and senior executive clients of mine in recent representations and our successful resolution of each, as follows:

  • Company’s plan to fire the executive for cause, where, on short notice, we effected a complete reversal of that situation from a negative to a positive for the C-level executive’s reputation, plus significant severance and deterrence of any future recurrence of attempted defamation;

  • Company’s public announcements that made the innocent C-level executive toxic and essentially unemployable in his industry, where the public company was made to rectify the situation, including signing a document that I prepared, a corrective document to the company’s 8K filing, that the company’s securities law counsel then filed with the SEC; and

  • Changes initiated to a draconian no-rehire provision in the executive’s separation agreement that met the company’s needs but removed the cloud over this senior executive with recruiters and for future employment..

The article then moves on to and concludes with a discussion of other provisions of the separation agreement and my recommendations on the handling of termination and terms for a mutual non-disparagement clause to protect not just the company (as the company’s first draft separation agreement almost always does) but the executive as well (through language we seek to add).

This was my 33rd article published in CEOWORLD since 2016. Previously, the editor advised that I can use “Featured in the CEOWORLD magazine” and the CEOWORLD “Logo” on my website and add CEOWORLD magazine in my LinkedIn profile’s “Experience Section” as an “Opinion Columnist.” and authority in the field.

On its own initiative, CEOWORLD magazine created on their website a library of Robert Adelson published articles. You can peruse this library and/or read as many of my 33 published articles as you wish. See

It is my hope that this article will be of benefit to CEOs, C-level and senior executives who at some point in their career might face disparagement or defamation, which if not properly dealt with could seriously derail an otherwise successful and rising career. So, my hope is that this article will offer insights on these important matters. Feel free to share this article. If you or any colleague of yours has a need for a separation agreement attorney, please do reach out to me at

Recent Posts

See All

Key Terms to Negotiate in Your Next Executive Job Offer

Two weeks ago, on Wednesday October 25, 2023, the executive career advancement website IvyExec published an article I wrote on “Key Terms to Negotiate in your next Executive Job Offer”. When you recei

Fighting the Double Trigger as free labor vs slavery:

How to negotiate your own Change of Control acceleration terms A bit over two weeks ago, on Friday September 15, 2023, CEOWorld magazine published an article I wrote on “-Fighting the Double Trigger a

Three Key Steps to the Fractional CFO Seat

Figuring out your niche — and what you can charge for it — is an essential first step for intrepid fractional CFOs, experts say. Three weeks ago, on Wednesday August 16, 2023, CFO Drive magazine publi


bottom of page