[Gannett's headquarters: Some executive pensions protected]
Comments are pouring in about the sweeping retirement plan changes CEO Craig Dubow announced yesterday. A mystery: Who are the 120 exempt executives on Page 7 of the "key messages" document given to employees? A sampling of comments:
- "As usual, the rank and file that do all the real work get screwed again while the yahoos at the top will continue to live comfortably for the rest of their lives, job or not. And for those of you that haven't thought about it, it's the group at the top that has gotten the company to where it is with the decisions that they have made. And lately, they haven't been very good decisions."
- "The CEO pay complaint is the most tired horse out there. I've written dozens of business stories for newspapers about companies that are tanking, and workers always complain about how much the top brass earn. I'm not particularly impressed with Dubow, but consider for a second if we pay him $50,000 a year and make him drive a Honda. Talent requires money. You pay to play. I have nine years at Gannett, and the future of the company scares the hell out of me. But it's equally frustrating to hear all the veterans around me piss and moan about the good old days, while they check their personal e-mail every half hour and refuse to acknowledge the media landscape has changed."
- "The 120 most likely include: Corporate officers; division heads; Gannett management committee; corporate VPs; regional presidents and regional VPs in the newspaper division; GMs in the broadcast division; selected others, such as the key talking heads in the TV newsrooms."
- "What everyone should understand is that this is just another step on the changes that will be coming to the company in the next 12 months. Expect more shoes to drop. The feeling is that it is better to get these changes done with now, fully knowing that they will be disruptive and will cost morale, than allow the company to drip into oblivion. There will be many fewer Gannett employees in the near future. The business/operational model will be vastly different with much less local autonomy/staff. The CEO and the CFO have publicly stated as much. You can do two things about what is obviously coming. You can either let it happen to you or you can take charge of your own situation. Ask yourself, is my job one that could potentially be consolidated? Do I work at a regionally significant location? If the answer to the first question is yes and the answer to the second is no, it would be worth your while to review your options and begin to make contingency plans. No one else will look out for you."
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