In 1999, I was hired as the Marketing Director for a network security company, managing a huge department of one (two, if you include me!)
The guy I managed was not a marketing guy and had apparently been bounced around to several different departments before landing in marketing. He wanted to be there about as much as I saw the benefit of him being there. I asked the CEO of the company if he could be placed in another department that more suited his skills. The CEO told me that I needed to fire the guy. Yes, fire him.
Now, to set this up properly, please let me tell you what I was dealing with:
a) being new to the company, trying to establish myself and develop some good working relationships
b) having to fire a very nice guy who was the sole wage-earner in his family, whose wife was expecting their second child any day, who was building a brand-new house, and it was two weeks before Christmas
Oh, I also had to fire our PR firm that same week -- apparently all of this stuff had been building up and needed ot be taken care of.
He was such a nice guy, he was a true gentleman when we let him go. He also had about four job offers within weeks that much better suited his skill set.
Bonus: Making many new friends at my job who then referred to me as "Kick 'em to the curb Canedo"