Man Told He Was ‘Not Getting Any Younger’ When He Passed On for the CEO Job

A veteran financial advisor lost his case for age discrimination after being overlooked for the role of CEO and said he was “not getting any younger”. Managing director David Wylde explained to 58-year-old Paul Rowan that he had instead decided to hire Daniel Tylerman, who was in his mid-40s, because he was “younger and more energetic”, an employment tribunal heard. .

The panel heard that Mr Rowan was still the company’s highest-paid employee at £284,000 a year and worked there for nearly 20 years. The tribunal heard Mr Rowan was “unhappy” about this, refusing to report to Mr Tyrman and would not attend meetings called by him.

Later, when the company was struggling financially as the UK was hit by the pandemic, Wylde decided to cut costs and made Mr Rowan redundant at the age of 59. As a result he filed a claim in an employment tribunal for age discrimination and unfair dismissal.

But the panel found that Mr Rowan did not complain about the comments until they were made redundant and was only angry that he was described as less “energetic” than Mr Tyreman. The tribunal concluded that he had been unfairly dismissed because his redundancies were “pre-planned”, but it would have happened anyway because he had become the worst-performing member of his team “by large numbers”.

Mr. Rowan joined DWPF Ltd. in 2000, Mr. Tyrman joined the small financial advice company based in Finsbury, London, five years later. In October 2019, DWPF Limited went into voluntary liquidation and was bought by DWFS Services Limited, which was also owned by Mr. Wylde.

That same year, Mr. Wylde announced that he was appointing Mr. Tyrman as CEO, a newly created role, as he himself planned to step back from the business. The hearing stated: “Contrary to [Mr Rowan]Mr. Tyreman, who had a reputation for being somewhat isolated and focused on his own projects, showed interest in getting involved in other areas of the wider business and starting new workstreams.”

Mr Rowan was unhappy with the appointment and felt he should have been made CEO, as the panel heard when Mr Wyld discussed being part of an executive team a year earlier. During a meeting discussing their dissatisfaction with the news, the panel heard: “[Mr Rowan said Mr Wylde] He cited the reason Mr Tyrman was appointed CEO because he was ‘younger and more energetic’ and added that neither he nor [Mr Rowan] ‘Someone was getting younger’.

During the hearing, Mr Wylde “strongly” denied these comments, but the panel found that he had done so, and wrote in emails about “younger” employees and referred to “modelling boys”. . In 2020, 69-year-old Mr Wylde wrote to Mr Rowan: “We are currently in a huge cash crunch due to the coronavirus. I am doing everything possible to manage this situation, but it may result in some redundancies.”

The tribunal, based out of central London, heard it also told Mr Rowan, now 60, that “younger” staff would not be considered part of the redundancy process. It was then decided that Mr. Rowan’s team would be scored on the basis of their performance.

It was found that he was the employee with the lowest score and was made redundant, the panel heard. The tribunal found “unanimously” that the decision had “nothing to do” with his age and that although the comments constituted a less favorable treatment, it ruled that it did no harm because he was “not disturbed”. .

Employment Judge Emma Burns concluded: “[Mr Rowan] Didn’t bother with the references to age in the comments. He was upset that Mr. Wylde had decided to appoint Mr. Tyrman as CEO and that Mr. Wyld had described Mr. Tyrman as more energetic than him.

“It was entirely plausible that the words were said in the context of conversation. Furthermore, we find that both men were used in the context of age in the workplace … it was part of their culture of communication and Nor was the language considered offensive or inappropriate.”

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