In the News

Riding the Pink Slip Tidal Wave

In terms of layoffs, November was rough but December is expected to be worse according to a recent CNN article. Between January and November this year, CNN is reporting that there have been more than 1.9 million layoffs. The article states that more companies are expected to issue pink slips this month as they wrap up the end of the year and brace for 2009.   

As we see with the three examples below (not to mention the hundreds of other reviews from employees whose company executives have announced or expect layoffs), its either ‘keep your friends close and your enemies even closer’ or the ‘survival of the fittest’ mentality that employees are expressing during this historic recession. Right now the pink slip tidal wave is building fast and employees are holding on for the ride as best they can.

For example, Anheuser Busch announced last week that they are planning to cut 1,400 jobs. According to, just 31% of employees approve of Anheuser Busch CEO August A. Busch Iva whereas the company receives a moderate 3.5 (out of 5 points possible) satisfaction rating. Based on employee feedback about the company, the notable brewing company is recognized internally for its cliques among staff.  For example a current Facilities Manager writes “People are being promoted either because they are friends or “because they have a nice ass.” We point this out as we wonder how the cliques will be affected – Will the ‘in-group’ stay strong or will the cliques be uniformly cut back in size?

This past Tuesday, Novellus, a company that specializes in semiconductor equipment and materials, announced reductions in workforce would occur however no numbers have been reported. Novellus CEO Rick Hill receives a meager 15% employee approval rating and the company receives a 2.6 company satisfaction rating.  Based on insight from a Staff Mechanical Engineer, job cuts are perhaps best made at the very top, the employee states “CEO is out of touch with the employees and the company and don’t think he’s aggressively moving the company in the right direction. I think he just likes to keep busy and keep his job as a hobby.”

Electronic Arts, an entertainment and games software company, also announced that they are planning to cut staff but again no specific numbers have been released publically. KTVU-TV reported that Chief Executive John Riccitiello, who receives a 53% employee approval rating, told analysts in a conference call that EA plans to reduce costs, but also invest more in areas like marketing its hit games. During these current economic hardships, an EA Software Engineer stirs up competitive spirit as the employee suggests to management “Focus on the people. Identify young talent and grow and nurture their skills. Evaluate people for effectiveness in their current jobs. Focusing on the youth will push the more experienced workers to step up their game or be surpassed by younger more hungry co-workers.”