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500 Best Buy Workers, Or 12.5% At HQ, Take Layoff Package [View All]

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OhioChick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-12-09 04:15 PM
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500 Best Buy Workers, Or 12.5% At HQ, Take Layoff Package
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January 12, 2009: 02:11 PM ET

About 500 Best Buy Co. (BBY) workers, or about 12.5% of headquarters employees, have agreed to voluntary layoffs, including enough company officers that one Wall Street analyst said the move could create a "slight 'brain drain'" at the consumer-electronics retailer.

Company spokeswoman Susan Busch in an email message declined to identify any of the roughly 500 employees but said they represent "a wide range of positions and grade levels."

Best Buy has 160,000 employees worldwide, but only corporate employees were presented with a voluntary separation package. Employees have until Friday to revoke their requests to participate, so the final number could change, Busch said.

Best Buy on Friday announced a roughly $60 million charge against fiscal fourth-quarter earnings for the severance program. Participating employees will receive a financial incentive that has not been quantified publicly, job-finding assistance, and 12 months of company-paid life insurance and health and dental benefits.

Sometime after Friday, Best Buy will review the voluntary program figures, other expense-reduction efforts and plans for the fiscal year beginning March 1 to determine if involuntary job cuts will be necessary, Busch said.

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