There are various ways Southern California residents cope with the soul-crushing traffic.
For me, one of my life preservers is satellite radio provider SiriusXM, which allows me to get from Point A to Point B without any commercial interruptions, typically grooving to ’80s music.
So I took it a little personally when SiriusXM announced Monday that it was sacking 475 workers, or 8% of its workforce. Service seldom improves when you fire a bunch of employees (hi, Twitter!).
SiriusXM CEO Jennifer Witz said in a note to underlings that the firings represent the beginning of a “new phase” for the company, which was created through the 2008 merger of Sirius Satellite Radio and XM Satellite Radio.
“The investments we are making in the business this year, coupled with today’s uncertain economic environment, require us to think differently about how our organization is structured,” she said.
This meant various cutbacks, including in head count.
“Today’s decision to reduce our workforce was required in order for us to maintain a sustainably profitable company,” Witz said.
The cuts at SiriusXM come as tech and media companies terminate tens of thousands of employees amid a slump in ad spending.
And many analysts believe the bloodletting will continue well into the year as businesses scramble to either cope with financial setbacks or clear the decks for a possible recession.
SiriusXM is majority owned by billionaire John Malone’s Liberty Media. It’s the home of Howard Stern, who reportedly pulls down total compensation of $120 million a year.
Like I say, I’m a big fan of the service and am pulling for its success.
But I worry about the impact of losing 8% of workers.
“We are committed to delivering the best premium audio experience in North America,” Witz said.
“With our vision as clear as ever, and our operating transformation now underway, we will continue to make investments as we gear up for our next major milestone: the launch of a new, best-in-class SiriusXM experience.”
I’m not sure what that means — the current commercial-free experience works pretty well already.
But at some point, hopefully soon, all employers will realize that the business world has a long history of boom-and-bust cycles.
Getting rid of lots of people might make shareholders happy over the short term (SiriusXM’s stock was up Monday), but it’s seldom the best long-term move for customers (hi, Twitter!).
Just don’t mess with the ’80s stations, Ms. Witz. Thanks!