Today, Jon Acuff resigned from the Dave Ramsey team. In a post on his Facebook page, Acuff explained several potential reasons that were not behind his resignation. Still, there is no explanation why he did resign. In response to the resignation, Dave Ramsey’s team has apparently shut down all digital assets associated with Acuff. The actions by Ramsey’s organization and the lack of transparency from either man raise questions in the Christian business, personal finance and leadership communities.
Jon Acuff’s Disclaimers
In the Facebook post announcing his resignation, Jon Acuff explained his time with the Dave Ramsey team was the, “three greatest years of our professional life” (including his wife Jenny). He then went on to explain several motivations that were not behind his decision, including:
1. This was not an integrity or moral issue. 2. This was not about money. 3. This was not about another opportunity.
Still, there was no explanation what was behind their decision. Taken alone, one could argue that Acuff doesn’t owe anyone an explanation. However, as a public figure in the Christian community and a thought leader in the entrepreneurial space, his actions, especially surrounding key business decisions, beg analysis.
Dave Ramsey’s Reaction
In response, Dave Ramsey’s organization seems to have made a deliberate effort to shutdown all of Jon Acuff’s digital presence within their control. Specifically, Jon’s most prominent sites (Stuff Christians Like and JonAcuff.com) now point to a Dave Ramsey page that reads, “Regrettably, Jon Acuff has resigned from the Dave Ramsey team. This takes us as much by surprise as it does you. We wish Jon all the best.”
In his Facebook post referenced above, Jon addressed the shutting down of these sites, saying, “…Stuff Christians Like will return. It takes time to pull together content and blog pages and everything else that is associated with a transfer. Dave has very kindly stressed to me his desire to make that happen as fast as possible.” It is true that website transitions can take time. However, in amicable transitions websites can (and typically do) remain up and operating as normal throughout such a transition. It’s entirely up to the owner of the assets (in this, Dave Ramsey, apparently) whether or not these assets remain active, if the recipient requests as much. This reaction from the Ramsey organization is not typical. While their notice ended politely with, “We wish Jon all the best”, their actions speak otherwise. After all, how does disabling the most popular sites attributed to Jon suggest you wish them “all the best”? Was it within their right to shut these down? Assuming ownership of these assets was transitioned to the Ramsey organization when Jon joined, yes. Was it appropriate from a man professing Christian values in business? My opinion is no. This, of course, assumes Jon did not instruct Dave and team to shut down the sites until they are transferred, either. If he did, I hope he make this very clear.
First and foremost, I hope there are no serious health or life-threatening issues behind Jon and Jenny’s decision. Second, I hope the Dave Ramsey organization’s decision to shutdown all of Acuff’s digital presence in their control was a mistake that is quickly remedied. Or, that Jon requested these actions be taken by Dave and company – I just can’t see the logic in that, either. I also hope both men are more transparent moving forward. Many will argue that Jon and Dave are not obligated to tell us anything and those folks would be right. There is no obligation. Still, the abrupt decision by Jon to leave combined with the abrupt decision by Dave to shutdown the assets seems uncharacteristic of what I expect from leaders I follow. I hope this settles out on both sides for the sake of these two great leaders and the people who follow them. For now though, we’re left with nothing but questions. Question: What do you think? Were the actions by these two men appropriate given what little we know of the circumstances?
Messages from Jon and Dave
Jon Acuff’s Facebook Posts regarding the decision he and his wife, Jenny, made to leave the Dave Ramsey team:
Friday, September 20, 2013 at 1:02 PM
Hey guys, I’m working on an explanation of today right now. I’ll post it on my Facebook page later today. Thanks
Friday, September 20, 2013 at 2:27 PM
After the three greatest years of our professional life, Jenny and I decided to resign from the Dave Ramsey team today.
I need to stress a few things:
1. This was not an integrity or moral issue. I have not broken any moral clause or anything like that. Furthermore, Dave Ramsey and the entire team there are the most integrity-driven group I have ever worked for.
2. This was not about money. Dave paid me more than I have ever been paid in my entire life. In addition, he was unabashedly generous with his platform, team and influence.
3. This was not about another opportunity. I don’t have a literary agent or a speaking agent or a publishing deal on the table. I don’t have anything else that drew me away from the company or created a wedge.
4. Stuff Christians Like will return. It takes time to pull together content and blog pages and everything else that is associated with a transfer. Dave has very kindly stressed to me his desire to make that happen as fast as possible.
This was one of the hardest decisions Jenny and I have ever made, but we’ve got a community of people here in Nashville who love us and are walking with us.
It’s scary and difficult, but God is not small.
Thanks for being our friend,
Jon and Jenny
Dave Ramsey’s message regarding the resignation:
Regrettably, Jon Acuff has resigned from the Dave Ramsey team.
This takes us as much by surprise as it does you. We wish Jon all the best.
Sites and pages that are no longer available and redirect to Dave Ramsey’s message:
- Stuff Christian’s Like
- Jon Acuff’s Speaker page on DaverRamsey.com
Other digital assets that appear to be disabled:
- Start Conference website
- Post that welcomed Jon Acuff to the Dave Ramsey team