Sunday, November 27, 2011

Not All CEOs Are Scumbags

Reading this blog, some might get the impression that I believe that all corporate managers who make the decision to lay off workers are evil capitalist scumbags. Actually, I recognize that a failing company must try to cut costs in order to survive. It's when mismanagement and financial shenanigans are the reason for the cuts that I object. That, and the callous attitude often displayed in their press releases.

So I have to at least give kudos to the CEO of Presstek Inc., which announced made a layoff announcement on Tuesday:
Presstek Inc. will slash its workforce in an attempt to regain profitability after posting a third-quarter loss of more than $5.4 million, the company announced Monday.

The printing equipment company, which employs 130 people in Hudson and 450 overall, would not say how many employees will be laid off, from which facility or how long its “profit improvement action” would take.

The company, which is based in Greenwich, Conn., also has a manufacturing facility in South Hadley, Mass., a distribution center in Des Plaines, Ill., and European headquarters in the United Kingdom.

CEO Jeff Jacobson said in a conference call that most of the cuts would be achieved through “headcount reductions and realignment of responsibility to right-size our business.” An $11.2 million cut represents about a quarter of the company’s annual operational expenses.

“Obviously, we will have to cut very deeply,” Jacobson said in response to a question by NHBR the number of layoffs involved.

Jacobson added that when he announced to his employees on Friday the severity of the cuts, “it was my darkest day” as a CEO.
Now that is language more appropriate for announcing that real people are going to lose their jobs. In fact, CEO Jacobson had more to say:
You put your blinders on” so that the company would do “what you have to say to stay vibrant,” Jacobson said to conclude the conference call. But when the blinders come off, Jacobson said he could see “human beings you know and care about as victims of the economy.”

He said some of the blame lies with “a group of people in Washington who just care about being elected,” but in any case, he promised that the workers “we have not come though this pain” without becoming a more stable company that won’t have to make such drastic cuts in the future.
That "group of people in Washington" most certainly doesn't care about anything other than getting elected. What's amazing is that they think they can despite showing no leadership whatsoever in a failing economy.


  1. 1) There's nothing wrong with capitalism. Capitalism is good. Unregulated capitalism is not good. Too much of the wrong kind of regulations is bad, not enough of the right kind of regulations is worse, lack of enforcement of regulations is also worse!

    1a) There is something wrong with nearly all CEOs. All CEOs are scumbags, but not because they have layoffs.

    2) Sometimes layoffs are necessary

    3) 99.5% of all CEOs take too much in salary!

    4) CEOs never ever ever add value, they only take value away in a big way. Non-manager employees create value, but take the least from companies.

  2. presstek needs to sell itself or go private here it a work