Thursday, February 09, 2006

Executives and the Smell of Dung

So EA has gone through some layoffs. Some 300 people just lost their jobs last week, which is about 5% of their workforce.

Now, notice my language there: “layoffs”, “people lost their jobs”. What did a company spokesperson have to say:

"…during transition we always look to realign our resources, whether that's people, technology, or our investments. It's a time of focusing on our key priorities."

..funny, I always thought that your people are key priorities...oh well.

Oh, and this is my favorite:

"This is an unfortunate but a natural part of transition," Warren Jenson, EA's chief financial and administrative officer, said in a conference call Thursday."The way I would think about it is a realignment of our resources." he added.

Unfortunate, yes, natural…no. There is nothing natural about losing your job.

See folks...this is what I call “execu-speak”. Its language that CEOs, CFOs use to explain away negative things that happen within their company and make it sound like smiles-and-sunshine. People didn’t loose their jobs, they where “realigned”…sounds like something you do to a car.

Now, if you ever wanted to know how execu-speak is actually made, its quite easy. You take reality, add vague and euphemistic language, rinse with bullshit and send it out as a press release. You too, can now be as greasy as some of these people are.

This is why I just love stories like this one:

…it’s what happens when the CEO’s and CFO’s are caught in the bullshit machine and end up smelling like it. The guys in that article where saying the same kind of stuff during the tech bubble in 2000-ish….I know, because I was there when they were saying it.

Now, do I think EA end up like a Nortel or a Worldcom? I really can’t say. I do wish they would just use real language when things go wrong…people who lose their jobs under your leadership deserve that much.

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