In the absence of an express agreement stating employment is "at will," employees may rebut the statutory presumption of at-will employment by proving the existence of an implied-in-fact promise not to discharge without good cause.
Such a contract may be proved by a course of conduct, including oral representations. Foley v. Interactive Data Corp. (1988) 47 Cal.3d 654, 675-676; Guz v. Bechtel Nat'l, Inc. (2000) 24 Cal.4th 317, 337; Stillwell v. Salvation Army (2008) 167 Cal.App.4th 360, 380 (existence of implied-in-fact contract requiring good cause for termination is question for trier of fact).
So, if the VP told the employee that he would never be fired while the VP worked there, then that could be an enforceable contract, which would give your friend a lawsuit for the termination.
If your friend wants to explore this further, then for an employment rights lawyer referral, see this link.
Hope this helps.
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