February 9, 2021:

He's passive-aggressive, self-pitying, oscillating between undue self-regard and wounded vanity. He feels he's being persecuted, by the company or life or me or all three, but he'll soldier on 'cos that's the kind of guy he is. He feels he should be in charge, and, for a brief period when he thought he was, he treated me with hierarchical disdain. When one day his attitude suddenly became sycophantic I realized he'd been let in on the secret that I was taking over the department.

The CEO questions the aptitude of all these veterans and, without entirely agreeing, the point is reasonable. They're slow, parochial, sometimes petty, and certainly too full of themselves. It's a mediocre organization with a dysfunctional history. Can it be redeemed?

Not with this guy as its manager. He lacks the assertiveness to drive necessary change. Not within the necessary window. He'd rather bring a group who disrespect him to consensus, and that's not going to happen.

The only choice then is to follow his example by soldiering on. It'll get done when it gets done. There's no telling when that'll be.