Viacom (VIA) will cut its workforce by 7% or about 850 jobs as part of “restructuring plans designed to better align its organisation and overall cost structure with evolving economic conditions,” according to a release. The company will also freeze wages for senior management and “write down certain programming and other assets.”
Total costs of the write-down and restructuring will be $400 million to $450 million in Q4. It’s all supposed to save Viacom between $250 million and $250 million in 2009.
CEO Philippe Dauman’s memo, via Gawker:
With less than a month until the close of 2008, our entire organisation continues to do everything possible to anticipate and adapt to the unprecedented changes affecting all our businesses. We know it hasn’t been easy and we couldn’t be more proud or more appreciative of how you have risen to the challenge.
Even in these tough economic times, Viacom has a strong hand to play. We have a broad stable of outstanding brands, diverse revenue streams and an impressive global footprint, backed up by exceptional financial strength. Added to that we have talented employees, extremely able leaders and a creative ingenuity that runs deep.
Unfortunately, our advantages and best efforts can’t completely protect Viacom from the very serious and broad-based challenges of this economic recession. Viacom’s long-term health will depend on our shared commitment to adapt, to innovate and to make difficult choices. To compete and thrive, we need to create an organisation and a cost structure that are in step with the evolving economic environment.
Today, we are announcing a company-wide restructuring plan that includes staffing reductions in all divisions. This will result in a reduction of our worldwide workforce of approximately 7 per cent, or about 850 positions. We are also suspending salary increases for the Company’s senior level management in 2009. In addition, after a comprehensive review of our operations, we will write down certain programming and other assets. These three actions will bring us significant cost savings and other efficiencies.
Top managers at every part of the company worked thoughtfully, carefully and compassionately to create a leaner, more focused organisation. It was not an easy task, but it was an essential step that will keep Viacom at the competitive forefront today and tomorrow. Department heads and supervisors will provide you with more information about the changes that will be taking place in your division.
Saying goodbye to friends and colleagues is always difficult, particularly when we have shared so much. Those of you who will be leaving should be proud of your contributions, which we will always respect and appreciate. We thank you and we wish you the best.
The true measure of an organisation is how it deals with change and overcomes challenges. We know that you are up to the task and that together we will push through the difficulties ahead and go on to even greater achievements.
We truly appreciate your continued commitment and hard work and we thank you for everything you do each day.
Philippe and Tom