Category: Employee Communications


“I love Yahoo, and I believe in all of you. It’s important to me to see Yahoo into its next chapter.” Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer in her July 25 employee letter announcing Verizon’s $4.8 billion cash acquisition of Yahoo!

What next chapter?mayerbook

Want to take an Internet pioneer, first-mover $125 billion company and transform it into an also-ran, acquisition target for four pennies on the dollar?

And to top it off, reward Yahoo! chief executive officer Marissa Mayer with more than $50 million in severance pay?

Wonder why so many are so upset with Wall Street?

What is it with high-accolade, lofty-expectations, lavaliere-strutting narcissistic chief executives, who are ostensibly hired to reverse the fortunes of struggling companies?

Much later, we all discover their real personal agenda was to simply put the corporation on the auction block, and to get paid handsomely for the privilege.

Where can I sign up for this lucrative gig?

The author of Almost DailyBrett will gladly say all the right things for a few years, bloviate at a few “developer” conferences, CES, SXSW and TED Talks and then when no one is looking, sell the company to the highest of low bidders and get rewarded for creating … nothing, absolutely nothing.

Hold That Horizontal Pose!

Alas, one thing your author will never be asked to do is pose for Vogue. Sorry, I don’t own a Michael Kors dress … and never will.mayer

Almost DailyBrett three years ago questioned why relatively new Yahoo! CEO Mayer would accept Vogue’s invitation for a horizontal spread in a fashion magazine? Was she trying to impress buy-side and sell-side institutional investors?

Women have long and justifiably complained about being objectified. What was telegenic Mayer doing with her Vogue reclining pose?

What did her PR team think about her proving once again that sex sells? Did her photo draw even more eyeballs to rival Google’s market-leading search engine?

Before you start thinking that Almost DailyBrett is solely focusing on the lucrative PR disaster record of one Marissa Mayer, please consider that many are still smarting over how Abhi Talwalkar drove LSI Logic into the ditch and received at least a $5.74 million severance payment for burying the company.abhi1

Your author served as the director of Corporate Public Relations for LSI Logic. Even though I left after 10 years to join Edelman Public Relations in December 2005, one could already see what Abhi had in mind … shed as many assets as quickly as possible to make the company more attractive to buyers.

As Almost DailyBrett previously reported, LSI Logic was the innovator of the application specific integrated circuit (ASIC) specialty semiconductor market for nearly 25 years under the leadership of founder Wilfred J. Corrigan.

It took Abhi less than nine years to end its existence, eventually accepting Avago Technologies (H-P’s former semiconductor business) for $6.6 billion offer in late 2013. LSI Logic is no more, but Abhi’s contract provided for the following:

  1. In the case of our Chief Executive Officer, a lump sum payment equal to 2.75 times his or her base salary and average bonus received over the preceding three years. In the case of a participant other than our Chief Executive Officer, a lump sum payment equal to two times the individual’s base salary and average bonus received over the preceding three years. 2. Full acceleration of all unvested equity awards. 3. Reimbursement of COBRA premiums for health insurance for 18 months. 4. In the event that a participant’s “parachute payments” are subject to the excise tax imposed by Section 4999 of the Internal Revenue Code, then LSI will make a supplemental payment to the participant in an amount that equals the excise tax on the parachute payments, plus any additional excise tax and federal, state and local and employment income taxes, on the supplemental payment. However, the total supplemental payment shall not exceed the sum of the participant’s (i) base salary immediately prior to the change in control, and (ii) target bonus for the year in which the change in control occurs.

Glad to see the “supplemental payment” would not exceed Abhi’s $2.09 million annual salary. Enough is enough … Right?

It’s even better that Vogue didn’t ask Abhi to pose horizontally in a Michael Kors dress.

His severance was obscene enough.

http://fortune.com/2016/04/19/verizon-yahoo/

http://www.forbes.com/sites/briansolomon/2016/07/25/yahoo-sells-to-verizon-for-5-billion-marissa-mayer/#7b9c799b71b4

http://www.forbes.com/sites/briansolomon/2016/07/25/here-is-marissa-mayers-final-letter-to-yahoo-employees/#54a12ae875ba

https://almostdailybrett.wordpress.com/2013/08/18/mayer-vogue-nasdaq-yhoo/

https://almostdailybrett.wordpress.com/2014/01/02/farewell-lsi-logic/

http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2013/12/16/avago-to-buy-lsi-for-6-6-billion/?_r=0

 

 

“Apple is not above the laws of the United States, nor should anyone or any company be above the laws. To have a court warrant granted, and Apple say they are still not going to cooperate is really wrong.” – California Senator Dianne Feinstein

It (Apple iPhone) is a deeply personal device. It is an extension of ourselves.” — Apple CEO Tim Cook

Apple desperately needs an attitude adjustment.

It’s past time to cooperate, Tim Cook.

How about right NOW?timcook

And yet the Fortune 500 CEO walked off stage yesterday to the lyrics of Tom Petty’s “I Won’t Back Down.”

The terrorists who struck Brussels this morning, killing at least 30 and injuring 100 more, won’t back down either.

As an Apple shareholder (the stock is up this morning) and most importantly a strong proponent for safety, the author of Almost DailyBrett is joining the bi-partisan chorus calling for the company to fully comply with federal magistrate court order and unlock the secrets contained in a terrorist’s stolen cell phone.

What is particularly galling is the arrogant notion that a device is an extension of ourselves, and defines who we are.

Really?

Your author lived for almost six decades and managed to get by just fine without an Apple iPhone.

Public Relations Disaster

Did we have to get to this point?

Why did the relationship between Apple with the strongest brand in the world and the legendary Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) have to degenerate into a public battle of wills with privacy being claimed on one side and safety being championed on the other?

The issue comes down to a County of San Bernardino owned iPhone 5 being used by a terrorist couple to kill 14 people and injure 22 more last December. What are the secrets contained in the encrypted smart phone used by Syed Rizwan Farook?terrorists

How can the FBI and by extension the people of this nation unlock this cell phone without permanently erasing the data contained in this device (10 unsuccessful tries triggers the elimination of all content)?

Why couldn’t über-secret Apple quietly and confidentially, particularly in the face of a legitimate court warrant,  write the code allowing the FBI to unlock this particular phone?

Couldn’t Apple have complied on a sub-rosa basis and keep those who think Edward Snowden is a swell guy happy at the same time? Why the public spectacle on CBS’ 60 Minutes and elsewhere that grows more intense and intransigent on a daily basis?

Just this week, the Department of Justice announced it may have a fix that allows the FBI to hack into the phone without inadvertently erasing the data. Is the FBI bluffing, trying to force Apple’s hand?

And will the spectre being played out on TV and mobile device screens from Brussels this morning, prompt a little soul-searching at Apple?

According to former Fortune technology columnist (and Apple apologist), David Kirkpatrick, the ISIS-coordinated attacks on the EU’s capital airport and central rail station, will have zero impact on the board room stance at Apple.

Alas, he is probably correct. A quick glance at the company’s news releases this morning offers plenty of details about the Apple iPhone SE and a new and improved iPad.

If you are expecting reflection, contemplation and refreshing change from Apple’s defiant attitude as a result of today’s deadly terrorist attacks, you are sadly mistaken.

The needless Apple public relations disaster continues.

http://www.sfgate.com/politics/article/Feinstein-says-Apple-is-wrong-to-refuse-to-6843414.php

http://www.cnn.com/videos/tv/2016/02/17/senator-dianne-feinstein-intelligence-cmte-lead-intv.cnn

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/brussels-attacks-weigh-on-wall-street–apple–fbi-court-face-off-canceled–amazon-s-cable-play-120427384.html#

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/videos/2016-03-22/how-will-terror-attacks-impact-apple-vs-fbi

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nUTXb-ga1fo

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/fbi-may-have-found-way-to-unlock-san-bernardino-shooters-iphone/

http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-san-bernardino-shooting-live-updates-htmlstory.html

http://www.apple.com/pr/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why, oh why do these things happen to me?” — Rabbit

Their cups are always half-empty.

halfempty

They don’t understand, Goldilocks. Never will anything be quite right.

When they were kids, their favorite Winnie the Pooh characters were either Eeyore or Rabbit, when once again he was lamenting his state of life.

They are known as “Gloomy Gus” or “Negative Nancy” in the workplace.

And please, o’ please … never put them in charge of managing people.

The reason? Whatever is accomplished is never good enough, and whatever subordinate shortcomings are exhibited become highlighted and immediately pounced upon.

These people are downers, the Human Barbiturates.

Human Barbiturates vs. Clinical Depression

The right-brain author of Almost DailyBrett thankfully will never be confused with a highly degreed-psychologist.

Based upon limited reading, it seems that clinical depression is characterized by episodes and inflicts a certain percentage of the population for a particular period of time. It can be and is treated. Hopefully, these people can return to healthy and happy lives.

Human Barbiturates are always in a down mood, regardless of the circumstances. If an organization is run like a business, they are unhappy. If the very same organization is governed by a labor friendly collective bargaining agreement, they are equally bummed out.

In fact, they are always bummed out. Nothing is right. Nothing will ever be right. If you don’t believe me, just ask them.

barbituates

Why is the presence of Human Barbiturates a matter of concern? Why should any blog focused on communications choreography even care about these homo-sapien downers?

The reason is these individuals can become a cancer within an organization, dragging anybody and everybody who comes into contact with them into the abyss.

No PR pro in her or his right mind would put these poor sods in a front-man role, serving as the point of entry for critical stakeholders. Naturally, they should be buried in any organization. That is not to say that they can’t still cause damage.

Let’s pretend you are running employee communications for a privately held or publicly traded corporation. Your job is to use conventional and digital tools to promote morale. Your job is just that much tougher if Gloomy Gus or Negative Nancy is undermining your story, and with it management, at the water cooler.

Don’t try to satisfy the Human Barbiturates because you can’t. These people really need a new start, but keep in mind they will spread their human Valium to another organization. At least they will be someone else’s problem.

Gloomy Gus or Negative Nancy As Your Boss?

“Never wait or hesitate Get in kid, before it’s too late You may never get another chance ‘Cos youth a mask but it don’t last live it long and live it fast” – Rod Stewart, The Killing of Georgie, Part I and II

You know instinctively that life is short. You want to live out your days and nights with as much gusto as you can.

Except you have a Human Barbiturate as a boss, or to be more precise, a bosshole.

bosshole

The Edelman Trust Barometer has consistently reported that “informed publics” around the globe are more willing to do business with companies that treat their employees with dignity and respect. It stands to reason that enlightened management would never turn over supervisorial decisions to Human Barbiturates.

Can employees ever satisfy those who will never be satisfied? You know the answer.

If Human Barbiturates always bitch, moan, whine and complain in the break room, texting and emailing, their behavior is compounded and magnified if they are selected for managerial positions.

Let’s just make the call here and now: Human Barbiturates should never be assigned to the management of people.

They should never be the face of any organization.

If hired, their talent must clearly outweigh their potential negative influence on an organization’s morale.

Otherwise, they are nothing more and nothing less than downers that become the subject of behind-the-back conversation, and maybe even ridicule.

When it comes to Human Barbiturates, it’s best for an organization to “Just Say, ‘No.'”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barbiturate

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fTYcu4CJbA8

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Story_of_the_Three_Bears

http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/rodstewart/thekillingofgeorgiepartiandii.html

http://www.webmd.com/depression/guide/major-depression

http://www.edelman.com/insights/intellectual-property/2014-edelman-trust-barometer/

 

 

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