Dave Dawe posted the rant aimed at his previous employer on LinkedIn (Image: Kennedy News/Aggregate Industries)

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An ex-managing director hijacked his replacement's welcome message with an extraordinary rant about his "cowardly" and "back-stabbing" colleagues – and it's since gone viral on social media.

Dave Dawe says he worked at asphalt surfacing firm Spadeoak for 35 years and had a "blemish-free record" before getting being removed from his position over "mum-friendly" banter in a work WhatsApp group.

When parent company Aggregate Industries UK made a public post on LinkedIn to announce its new managing director, Dave left a back-handed welcome message for his replacement.

He told the new MD to look forward to the "integrity" of the firm, branding some of his ex-colleagues "experienced burger flippers" and "jealous pen pushers" who "crawled out of the sewer".

It's gone viral since being shared on Twitter
(Image: Kennedy News/Twitter)

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Dave, from London, said he had worked successfully to "multiply the bottom line by a factor of six" until the company "chose to get all goody goody regarding a work person WhatsApp group in which the guys were having vanilla fun in lockdown".

He wrote: "Content that consisted of what most mums would laugh at, was deemed so shocking and potentially offensive that after 35 years and a blemish-free record, I was sent packing.

"I look forward to my tribunal. Enjoy!"

Comments on the post were quickly disabled and it was then later taken down altogether, with Dave saying he's now chosen to "zip it" until the tribunal and a Spadeoak representative speaking out to say the firm "take ethics and integrity very seriously".

Dave said he was let go for a message he posted in a work WhatsApp group
(Image: Kennedy News/Aggregate Industries)

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A screenshot of the rant was shared on Twitter, gaining thousands of likes and sparking a divide with many saying they could "see why they got rid of Dave now", while others argued he was their "hero" for getting the tirade off his chest.

One person commented to say: "Is this one of those posts you're supposed to write but then delete – not send??? #SchoolBoyError."

A second said: "Is it a public tribunal? I'd love to attend and see Dave Dawe in action."

A third commented: "Oh, to know what was in that WhatsApp chat."

And another added: "Magnificent drop the mic from Dave."

A Spadeoak spokesperson said: "Our company takes ethics and integrity very seriously and we pride ourselves in our approach to health and safety and mental health.

"Due to the nature of the issue we cannot further comment on the case."