Reed Business CEO: No Plans for Large-Scale Layoffs
Tad Smith, RBI executives try to keep staffers focused during sale process.
With rumors flying yesterday following Reed Elsevier’s announcement that it would sell its Reed Business Information division—a dramatic decision to divest its advertising-supported businesses—CEO Tad Smith tried to reassure RBI staffers that their jobs would be intact—including his.
“I am committed to leading our business as your CEO during the sale process and thereafter,” Smith wrote in an internal memo. “In the meantime, business will continue as usual and everyone’s jobs, benefits and pay will be unaffected.”
“The announcement this morning neither surprises nor worries me,” Smith added. “We have a vibrant and exciting business that is successfully making the transition from print to online across dozens of market sectors in countries all around the world. There will be a healthy appetite for our business and your many contributions as staff members.”
Reed Business global chief Gerard van de Aast also moved quickly to reassure its 8,164 employees. “It is important to note that this says nothing about the quality and attractiveness of our business and the markets we serve,” he wrote in a spate memo.
Total revenue for RBI was $1.7 million in 2007, with adjusted operating profits of $253 million, cash conversion was 109% providing a stable and attractive cash flow.
Smith noted the division’s “history of diligent cost and headcount management.” The company, he said, “has no plans for a large scale layoff or other special headcount reduction program beyond the extreme care we continue to exercise on headcount additions.”
NOTE: Read both memos here.