Citigroup announced this week it would lay off 11,000 employees. Yes, 11,000. The layoffs, in conjunction with other organizational changes, are expected to save the company $1.1 billion. Investors hope these steps shrink the company down to “a more manageable and profitable size.”
The news was announced via a standard press release, titled, “Citigroup Announces Repositioning Actions to Further Reduce Expenses and Improve Efficiency.” Does that sound like the jobs of 11,000 people would be eliminated? No? It didn’t sound that way to us either.
The release’s first sentence: “Citigroup today announced a series of repositioning actions that will further reduce expenses and improve efficiency across the company while maintaining Citi’s unique capabilities to serve clients, especially in the emerging markets.” What does that mean? Emerging markets? What unique capabilities?
The release goes on to say a bunch of other stuff we don’t understand. And, then, it hit us.
“Due to this repositioning, Citi expects to record pre-tax charges of approximately $1 billion in the fourth quarter of 2012 and approximately $100 million of related charges in the first half of 2013. .. These actions will result in a reduction of more than 11,000 positions.”
The 11,000 people who are out of a job aren’t even mentioned until the third paragraph. And, to make matters worse, it’s the last sentence in the third graph. The poor folks aren’t even mentioned again, really. No chairman, chief executive officer or president or any other top-level executive gives any sign of compassion or empathy for those poor 11,000 souls. To read this release, you’d think the financial giant was rearranging desks and merging offices, not kicking out 11,000 people into this rough world economy.
PR Daily solicited seasoned communicators to comment on the release. One called it “classically bad.” Check out what they had to say about it here.
Tell us what you think.