The Wall Street Journal is asking a 'substantial number' of staff to take voluntary buyouts

The Wall Street Journal is asking a “substantial number” of staff to take voluntary buyouts.

Gerry Baker, editor in chief, just sent out a memo to staff, offering enhanced voluntary severence benefit. The terms, detailed in a FAQ, said it is offering 1.5 times regular severence to those who take the buyout. Anyone in the Wall Street Journal News department is eligible.

Staff have been invited to send an email to HR by end of day October 31 saying: “I [NAME] elect to be considered for the WSJ News Department voluntary severance benefit.”

Business Insider obtained a copy of the memo. Here it is:

As I told you earlier this week, we have begun an extensive review of operations as part of a broader transformation program. There will be, unfortunately, an impact on news department staff in this process. In order to limit the number of involuntary layoffs, we will be offering all news employees around the world – management and non-management – the option to elect to take an enhanced voluntary severance benefit. The terms are described in the attached FAQ.

We are seeking a substantial number of employees to elect this benefit, but we reserve the right to reject a volunteer based on business considerations. Employees will be required to sign a separation agreement and release of claims in a form provided by the Company in exchange for the accompanying severance benefits.

I regret of course the need for such a move and I appreciate deeply the dedication all of you continue to show through challenging times. Thanks to your hard work, the news department continues to produce world-class journalism every day and I’m confident this process is the right one to set us on the right footing for renewed growth in the years ahead.

Gerard Baker

Editor in Chief The Wall Street Journal

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