William Earle was the CEO of Wayne Enterprises. He was the head of the company after the murder of Thomas Wayne and told young Bruce that he will wait for him to grow up and run the company. However, when Bruce Wayne left Gotham, Earle had him declared dead and took the company public. He demoted Lucius Fox from the Board and later fired him, saying "Didn't you get the memo?" During his tenure as CEO, Earle shied away from "what Thomas Wayne would have done" and made heavy weapons manufacturing the cornerstone of Wayne Enterprises.
Shortly after the company was taken public, Wayne returned and reestablished himself with Wayne Enterprises. He bought back a majority of the shares via roundabout means, again becoming the owner, and made Fox the CEO. Fox quipped at Earle, "Didn't you get the memo?"