One company that’s still shedding jobs–lots of them–is technology pioneer Hewlett-Packard. That’s part of the strategy of Meg Whitman, the CEO, hired to save the company.
Pelley gives viewers a quick rundown of all of Whitman’s successes, and wonders: “Can Whitman assemble a happy face now for HP?”
The segment by correspondent Anthony Mason portrayed Whitman as a bold turnaround artist. “When she took over Hewlett-Packard nearly three years ago,” Mason says, “Meg Whitman literally tore down the executive walls.” Viewers learn that the old office had stuffy walls, and Whitman wanted cubicles instead.
Part of the CEO’s bold transformation plan, Mason explains, is a pretty simple one: “Whitman has announced up to 50,000 job cuts–about 14 percent of the company’s workforce when she took over.” He goes on to say that it’s hard for a company to “make these kind of transitions”–executive-speak for “massive layoffs”–but the segment very quickly turns into a promotion for a new product, “a radical redesign of computing,” as the CBS correspondent puts it.
Mason closes the segment with this: “The CEO who built eBay knows Silicon Valley only rewards those who roll the dice.”
It might be worth pointing out that the jobs-slashing CEO–who is already a billionaire–doesn’t have to wait for this bet to succeed in order to receive a nice payday. Her compensation last year was $17.6 million last year (USA Today, 2/3/14). CBS–which has a record of doing puff pieces about corporate CEOs (FAIR Action Alert, 11/26/12)–wants viewers to believe that the overpaid CEO who’s bold and risky enough to try and fix a company by firing tens of thousands of employees deserves this kind of attention.
And what about the workers who are shown the door? Well, there’s no nightly newscast report about them.