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Condé Nast Cuts Pay, Expects Layoffs
In a memo sent to employees on Monday, Condé Nast CEO Roger Lynch announced salary reductions and furloughs throughout the company. Those earning more than an annual $100,000 will get a 10 to 20 percent pay cut, board members will take a 50 percent cut, and senior management, including Anna Wintour, will take a 20 percent pay cut. There will also be layoffs in the coming weeks and a hiring freeze is now in effect. Read the complete memo below.
To our Condé Nast team,
For those of you who celebrated the recent Passover or Easter holidays, and for those who may still be out today, I hope you’ve had the opportunity to spend time with your families and loved ones – whether virtually, or in person. While we’re working from home, we still need to take time to recharge.
As I’ve shared in my recent emails, we’ve been working to assess the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on our business and to reset our financial plan for the year. That work has involved modeling several different scenarios. While we aren’t as solely dependent on print and digital display advertising as some of our competitors, globally, we will still see a substantial impact from this crisis on our business. The ELT and I recognize it’s very likely our advertising clients, consumers, and therefore our company, will be operating under significant financial pressure for some time. As a result, we’ll need to go beyond the initial cost savings measures we put in place to protect our business for the long term.
Today, I’m outlining some additional actions we’re taking to balance the needs of our people and our company, as our people are the most important part of our company. I recognize these are extremely challenging times both personally and professionally, and that any amount of added uncertainty is stressful. As a leadership team, we’ve continued to work to do everything possible to protect jobs, limit impact to lower wage earners, and continue to provide benefits to individuals and their families through this time.
Here’s an overview of what you can expect at the global level:
Temporary salary reductions: To start, we’re implementing temporary salary reductions for all those who earn a base salary of at least $100K USD (or equivalent). This action will start at the top. I will take a 50% reduction of my base salary, as will the external members of our board. The rest of the ELT will reduce their base salaries by 20%. For those who make $100K or above, reductions will range from 10%-20% of base salary, depending on compensation level. These changes will go into effect on May 1 and will last for a period of five months, through the end of September. Our People/HR teams globally will work to implement these adjustments according to local employment laws and regulations, updating agreements and working with union representatives as needed.
Furloughs and reduced working schedules: We will also work to implement reduced working hours and work week schedules (e.g. three to four-day work weeks) for certain roles, in particular where government programs and stimulus packages can help supplement employees’ earnings. These decisions will be made locally in markets in accordance with available government programs. Along with the salary reductions noted above, these are actions that will help us preserve jobs and benefits.
Potential job and role eliminations: Many of you have been asking whether there will be any job eliminations. While we consider it a last option, we do expect there will be some role eliminations as part of these efforts. We’ve already closed several hundred open positions and limited hiring only to the most critical roles. Role eliminations are never something we take lightly, and we’ll continue to work to limit this as much as possible.
Project deferrals: Beyond the employment measures outlined above, we’re also deferring several projects to reduce workloads on teams, and to focus us on immediate priorities. Some examples of global projects that have been deferred or reprioritized for now include: our further Workday implementation for Finance and HR; the on-boarding of additional markets onto Copilot this year; the further outfitting of global internal events spaces; and, the global employee intranet – all of which will be deferred to 2021.
Local leaders will follow up in the coming days and weeks to communicate specific actions in your markets and teams. We want to act swiftly and thoughtfully, so this process isn’t dragged out. While we’ll always have the need to make adjustments to our organizational structure and team to optimize our business, we expect to complete communications related to these actions by the end of May.
We aren’t alone in needing to take actions like this – companies around the world are all facing similar challenges and responding accordingly. But that doesn’t make this process any easier. I understand the impact this will have on many of our team members, and I appreciate all of you who will join me in taking temporary salary reductions, so we can limit that impact as much as possible.
Over the past few months, I’ve said repeatedly how proud I am of this team. That is even more true today, as we embark together on these actions in an effort to protect our business for the long term. Our efforts to diversify our business model and grow consumer revenue are helping us weather this challenging time, and we must continue to focus and adapt our business in that direction. I know you will have questions about today’s announcements. The ELT and I are standing by ready to answer them. We may not have all the answers today, but we’ll do our best to provide as much information and clarity as possible.
Thank you for your support during this critical time for our business. I wish you and your loved ones good health, and look forward to the day when we can meet again in person.
The Hollywood Reporter and Billboard Prepare for Layoffs (The Daily Beast)
“Staffers are bracing for layoffs that multiple people familiar with the situation said will likely impact both The Hollywood Reporter and Billboard,” writes The Daily Beast. “THR’s layoffs are expected to number around 30 of its employees, and encompass staffers on the editorial team, including video, according to two people with knowledge of the matter. As of Monday morning, the layoff tally had not been finalized, the sources added. […] Multiple sources told The Daily Beast that Billboard has at least temporarily shifted its print publication from weekly to monthly, and THR will scale back its print frequency ‘sharply.’”
France to Gradually Lift Lockdown Starting May 11 (WWD)
“French President Emmanuel Macron has extended France’s lockdown until May 11, when activities will gradually start to resume — starting with schools and commerce, while cinemas, bars, museums and restaurants will open at a later stage,” writes WWD.
“The epidemic is not yet controlled, we must continue our efforts and continue to apply to the rules. The more they are respected the more lives will be saved,” said Macron, speaking on French television. “May 11 will only be possible if we continue to be civic, responsible and respect the rules, and if the spread of the virus continues to slow.”
Why There Are So Many Asian-Americans in Fashion and How They Changed the Industry (New York Times)
Before coronavirus locked everything down, the New York Times gathered an impressive number of the fashion industry’s most celebrated designers of asian descent for a historic group portrait. “Asian invisibility may still persist,’ writes the Times, “but these designers have become an indelible part of our collective consciousness when it comes to what we wear and how we choose to wear it.”
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We are here. We are united, and there is room for more at our table. I was extremely honoured to be asked by @hanyayanagihara to participate in this powerful portrait of representation in the fashion community for @tmagazine. Thank you for seeing us, and for highlighting not only our design work, but all of our efforts to promote diversity in the industry whether it be on our runways or behind the scenes. Little did we know when we were shooting this that it would be published amidst a global pandemic, where racism against Asians would be on the rise, and that our voices would be more important than ever. We are here. We are united, and there is room for more at our table. Thank you to @thessaly for your thoughtful words, and to the entire @tmagazine team who made this come together. Thank you to @patrickli__ @davidrfarber @reneecoxstudio #RepresentationIsTheResitance #loveistheresistance
Reset the US Fashion Industry: Why the Vicious Cycle of Markdowns Is Set to Expire (Glossy)
“Fashion brands and retailers are largely holding or cancelling orders of summer collections, respectively, which typically deliver in April or May,” writes Glossy. “Instead, they’ll hit stores in the summer months of June, July and August. In turn, fall styles will drop in September and October, in step with the start of the fall season.”
“This should rectify what was a messed-up fashion calendar,” said Hillary France, founder and CEO of fashion business platform Brand Assembly. “If we’re shipping products in the month when people need them, it would help repair this set cadence of markdowns.”
The Lions Partners With Custom Collaborative on Non-Medical Face Masks
The Lions has partnered with Custom Collaborative to supply non-medical, reusable, and sustainable face masks to essential workers in NYC. They are launching the partnership via a donation to CC to produce masks for essential workers in NYC and encouraging others to donate via promoting across The Lions’ social channels and talent network.
“Custom Collaborative’s face mask is designed for community use during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic,” said The Lions in a press release. “These non-medical masks provide protection for daily activities and are a great thank-you gift for essential employees such as grocery store workers and pharmacy staff. The fabric masks are washable and reusable, so we can save certified N95 respirator masks for frontline healthcare workers. Made in New York City by Custom Collaborative’s community of artisans, your purchase provides vital income to the women in our programs who rely on fashion production work to support themselves and their families.”