Am I Next? 10,400 Layoffs at Verizon Communications

As we previously notes on October 5, 2018, New York, New York-based Verizon Communications has just offered 25% of its workforce, approximately 44,000 employees the opportunity to take a voluntary severance package in order to save $10 billion in costs by 2021. Verizon's severance package mostly targets senior employees, some with 20 years or more with the company, making it difficult for those in their 50s and 60s to obtain new employment.

It appears that the day of reckoning is here. According to an SEC 8-K filing dated December 11, 2018 …

** In September 2018, Verizon announced a voluntary separation program for select U.S.-based management employees. Approximately 10,400 eligible employees will separate from the Company under this program by the end of June 2019, with nearly half of these employees exiting in December of 2018. Principally as a result of this program but also as a result of other headcount reduction initiatives, the Company expects to record a severance charge in the range of $1.8 billion to $2.1 billion ($1.3 billion to $1.6 billion after-tax) in the fourth quarter of 2018.

** Verizon’s Media business, branded Oath, has experienced increased competitive and market pressures throughout 2018 that have resulted in lower than expected revenues and earnings. These pressures are expected to continue and have resulted in a loss of market positioning to our competitors in the digital advertising business.

Oath has also achieved lower than expected benefits from the integration of the Yahoo Inc. and AOL Inc. businesses. In connection with Verizon’s annual budget process in the fourth quarter, the new leadership at both Oath and Verizon completed a comprehensive five-year strategic planning review of Oath’s business prospects resulting in unfavorable adjustments to Oath’s financial projections.

** Verizon expects to complete an internal reorganization of legal entities associated with its wireless business in December 2018. Upon completion of this reorganization, Verizon expects to recognize a non-recurring deferred tax benefit of approximately $2.1 billion in the fourth quarter of 2018 which will reduce the Company's deferred tax liability by the same amount.

It is time for all non-critical Verizon employees, primarily those who perform non-specific support services to remain vigilant.

Just because something bad hasn't happened yet, doesn't mean it won't. It can happen to anyone, anytime, anywhere ... are you now wondering, Am I Next?


Am I Next? TJX Mass Layoffs. IT Outsourcing. 




Framingham, Massachusetts-based TJX Corporation, the parent company of Marshalls, TJ Maxx, HomeGoods, HomeSense and Sierra Trading Post, has eliminated 300 employees in what it calls an infrastructure and operations realignment. 

Company spokesperson Dorren Thompson spun the event as a pro-growth initiative. 

“As TJX continues to grow, we consistently look for ways to efficiently meet the needs of our expanding business and help us better serve our customers around the world. Today, we announced the restructuring of our global IT Infrastructure and Operations group, which eliminates approximately 300 IT positions. As part of this restructuring, certain services will transition to a third-party provider, who plans to create job opportunities for some of the people whose TJX positions will be eliminated.  While we are eliminating certain positions in this area of IT, as part of our overall strategy, we are expanding in others to meet the future needs of our business. Although we believe this is the right strategy, these decisions are always difficult.  We are grateful to these Associates for their contributions and dedication to the Company. We are confident that the changes we are making will ultimately better position the IT organization to support the continued growth of our Company.”

Sounds like outsourcing to me. I wonder if any of these employees were asked to sign non-disclosure agreements and train their replacements as a condition of their severance package?

Are you asking yourself, Am I Next?


The fox may be in the hen-house.

Am I Next? Proctor & Gamble: Mass Layoffs Ahead?

It appears that whenever an activist investor, yesterday’s Wall Street Gunslingers, purchases a significant stake in a company or assumes a seat on the board, restructuring, and mass layoffs are sure to follow. According to the Wall Street Journal, Nelson Peltz may have won his proxy battle for a seat on the giant consumer goods company Procter & Gamble by the thinnest of vote count margins. Reportedly 43,000 votes out of 2 BILLION votes — a 0.002% margin. Allegedly the proxy battle cost Peltz’s Trian Partners and P&G approximately $100 MILLION – quite a few employees to make up the loss.

A previous story on P&G was not encouraging

The hedge fund boss seeking a seat on Procter & Gamble's board of directors has pushed companies to remove more than 100,000 jobs through layoffs or business unit sales, a review by The Cincinnati Enquirer shows. Peltz has decried P&G's "suffocating bureaucracy" and advocates a "flat organization," but has side-stepped any specifics on potential job cuts. He says he wants to thin P&G's corporate jobs from 10,000 to 1,000 but move an unspecified amount back into business units such as oral care or baby care.  Since 2012, P&G has already shed 34,000 jobs through buyouts and business unit sales, a 26% reduction in headcount. <10/4/2017 USA Today>

The handwriting is on the wall, it is up to the P&G employees to react accordingly.