A new start after 60: ‘I was fired at 64 – so I faced my fears and started my first company’

A new start after 60: ‘I was fired at 64 – so I faced my fears and started my first company’

Investors told Paul Tasner, 75, he should put up his feet and enjoy retirement. Instead, he reinvented himself and launched a thriving sustainable packaging business

When Paul Tasner was 64, he was called to a meeting with the chief executive of Method cleaning products where he worked as senior director of operations – only to find that the meeting was an exit interview. It was shortly before Christmas 2009; San Francisco felt festive. His wife and friends were waiting for him at a restaurant. “We said our hellos, and I said: ‘I’ve been fired!’ They all laughed.”

Tasner told them he wasn’t joking. “Much was drunk” that night, he says, and instead of feeling anxious about the future, he began to feel good. “I know that’s a weird thing to say, being fired. [But it was] a chance to do some thinking about what comes next.”

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