We officially heard yesterday, November 16, 2017, that Laura Blackmer, Sharp’s vice president of sales has left the company. This is something we had suspected since she did not attend our 32nd Annual Awards & Charities Dinner on November 2 or 2nd Annual Women Influencers Brunch on November 3.
When we learned that Blackmer would not attend the dinner we contacted Sharp and advised them that Laura was a very strong candidate to receive the 2017 "Best Female Executive" award, for the third time in a row. We suggested that someone from Sharp accept it on her behalf. However, Laura requested that Carol Cannata accept it for her.
On November 15th we learned that a communication went out from Sharp to their independent dealers stating Laura had left the company.
This series of events can only suggest Laura’s departure was in one way or other not a typical separation. People often move on from their employers, however, not with this level of secrecy and obfuscation. This whole situation was telling us that this departure may have been a contentious issue.
We contacted Doug Albregts CEO of Sharp Electronics and asked if he could confirm or deny that Laura Blackmer was no longer employed at his company. As always Doug is the consummate professional and he responded accordingly.
Laura resigned yesterday to pursue other opportunities. She leaves on great terms and we wish her only the best. I’ve known about her desire for some time, and she was gracious enough to work around our schedule.
It was a difficult decision for her because she loved working at Sharp. Professionals like Laura sometimes want to pursue (perceived and sometimes not) better opportunities for continuous personal development. It speaks volumes about who she is...and why I hired her in the first place. Anyway, that was her desire and we made sure we didn’t stand in the way. Laura will always be a close friend of ours.
It’s of course a big loss, but we’ve done an outstanding job of grooming a rising star to fill her shoes. We named her successor immediately, John Sheehan, who worked very closely with Laura for 4 years. Laura and John are very much alike, so I would imagine you’ll see a very similar style. He has a great personality and capabilities that will also benefit our dealers.
I take great pride in the fact I found a gem in Laura and I was able to work with her for 5 plus years. She had a great impact on the industry and company.
That’s really it. Sadly, many people in this industry will read more into it than necessary, but those are the facts.
We independently discovered that Laura cannot speak about where she is going until a later date. We reached out to her and she tells us that she is enjoying this period as a time to spend with her family.
Laura is looking forward to returning to work and getting on with her career. She echoed the comments made by Doug. In my opinion, she left Sharp with some sadness and we suspect some time in the next few weeks she will be in a position to speak freely—at least that is my conjecture.
We assume at that point we will learn the whole story and the appropriate parties will state the reasons for her inability to say where she was going. That can only imply she is going to work for another company in the imaging industry. Once again, we know nothing, but do understand how separations can sometimes work.
The important thing to know is that Laura left on her own accord and was not terminated by Sharp. As Doug stated, “Laura is a professional.”
We sincerely hope that we will have the opportunity to work together and that she has not left our industry.
As we shared with Laura, the entire team at The Cannata Report have the highest regard for her and wish her the very best in the years to come. She is a young, highly skilled and competent executive and wherever she lands she will do a first-class job.
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