CA Employees Air Their Complaints
The VAR Guy opened this morning’s newspaper and read about the latest controversy at CA Inc. Apparently, employees are upset about CA purchasing a helicopter (list price: $12 million) even as employees are forced to pay more for health care and child care services.
The VAR Guy has been quick to criticize CA’s management in recent years. But this time, he’s actually ready to defend the company. CA will use the copter to quickly shuttle executives between the company’s Long Island and Manhattan offices. Avoiding the Long Island expressway will allow CEO John Swainson and other CA execs to book more customer meetings and, potentially, generate more revenue for the company.
Still, it’s time for Swainson to show the type of leadership that Cisco CEO John Chambers demonstrated during the dot-com meltdown. Chambers received no annual bonus in 2001. And in 2002, he requested an annual salary of $1 (yes, one dollar) in a symbolic move to improve employee morale during the economic slowdown.
Of course, stock options have made Chambers a very rich man. But that’s not the point. At a time when Cisco needed to cut costs, Chambers made sure that he tightened his own belt. Likewise, Swainson should find a creative, symbolic way to show CA’s employees that management isn’t taking them for a (helicopter) ride.