A paycheck and a handshake used to do the trick, but now employees want more, and employers are getting (unpleasantly) creative.
New Edge Networks Inc., for instance, announced this week that it is about to finish a nationwide telecommunications network for Sbarro, the pizza sbecialists. And, as a reward for getting the network up and running in a timely manner, Sbarro has agreed to provide New Edge Networks employees 10 pizzas a week for one year.
Headcount resides near Dallas, a city that probably has more malls than schools, so we know well the bountiful, bland cuisine peddled by Sbarro, which dubs itself "the largest shopping-center-based Italian restaurant chain in the world."
We offer this conspiracy theory: The folks at New Edge, stuck between a rock and a hard crust, decided to finish the work on time because Sbarro threatened to give them 15 pizzas a week for three years if they didn't make their deadline.
Got some other tasty examples of employee motivation? Please do send a note to [email protected]. Meanwhile, we'll review some of the other hirings and firings of the past few days:
Tellabs says that the actions aren't aimed at any particular product line. They're simply an attempt to bring the company's costs in line with its revenues. But an internal document supplied by a Tellabs Denmark employee suggests that some slowdown will occur, at least in that region.
"We will continue the development of our Ethernet solution, but not with the same speed as previously seen," the document states. "The cost cuttings will have an effect on R&D projects as well as some will not be continued."
HealthSouth Corp. chairman Robert P. May, a Charter director, has become the firm's interim president and CEO. May was the chief operating officer of Cablevision Systems Corp. (NYSE: CVC) from 1996 to 1998.
"We believe that tensions between Mr. Vogel and the board (and controlling shareholder Paul Allen) over the rate of progress was likely the primary motivation behind Mr. Vogel's departure," writes Friedman Billings Ramsey & Co. Inc. analyst Alan Bezoza in a note to clients today.
Vogel's departure is just another in a long line of wince-inducing news coming from Charter's executive offices in the past six months.
Michael P. Huseby, executive VP and CFO, resigned effective August 20, 2004. Margaret A. Bellville, Charter's executive VP and COO, resigned effective September 30, 2004. And, in December, former Charter COO David Barford -- the man Bellville replaced -- pled guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud relating to his participation in a scheme to inflate Charter's subscriber numbers.
"Despite the company's vow to redouble efforts to improve operations, we believe this is even more difficult, given major vacancies in Charter's senior ranks (CEO, COO, and CFO) and the potential departure of other senior managers loyal to Vogel," Bezoza writes.
Investors noted their disappointment as Charter's shares sank to a 52-week low: The company's shares fell $0.13 (6.34%) to $1.92 in Tuesday trading.
Here are some of the other appointments and disappointments from the past several days:
- CoSine Mourns Death of CEO
- Enterasys to Cut 115 Jobs
- Level 3 Cuts Hundreds of Jobs
- Moto COO Quits
- Infineon Calls Off $206M Sale
- C-Cor: We'll Get Our Act Together
- Alcatel Appoints Olivier Baujard as CTO
— Phil Harvey, News Editor, Light Reading