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I've been reading all the tips that members have been sending in recently about how to deal with ex-employee e-mail. This is how I would do it.
Create a public folder of ex-employees (and departments under that, if the organization is big enough).
Give the appropriate managers access to the relevant folders when an employee leaves, then delete the ex-employee's mailbox and add that e-mail address to the relevant public folder.
Set an appropriate age limit on the folder (e.g. 30 days). This should give managers enough time to pick out any important company mail, let the administrator unsubscribe any further mail lists, and not clog up the server with old mail, since it is deleted automatically after a set time.
This was first published in August 2003