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Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Corporate Employees Without Borders

posted by on June 4 at 13:00 PM

Borders lays off 245 corporate employees.

Borders said Tuesday the cuts represent about 20 percent of its corporate jobs, but less than 1 percent of its total work force.

When I worked there, almost a decade ago now, I was positive that if Borders cut their corporate staff by half, it would kick Barnes & Noble’s ass because the employees would presumably have more of a say in the store’s selection of books and each Borders would be more of a local bookshop. I’m willing to be that that’s not what’s going to happen now.

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i worked there for 6 years, and right before i left, they cut 10% of the corporate work force, redid a few of their programs, and it got worse. booksellers had less and less of a say as time went on-i don't see that changing.

Posted by jayme | June 4, 2008 1:08 PM

I know from experience: when a bookstore chain does something like this, it's over. Give 'em a year to bleed through their remaining credit and emergency practices, then it's goodbye.

Posted by Fnarf | June 4, 2008 1:14 PM

I don't think it's necessarily a bad thing that book selling is primarily moving to the internet.

I love local bookshops in theory, but dislike them in practice. Yes, I love looking at staff picks, etc, but then they never seem to have the books I'm looking for.

Now, I buy my books used primarily through either Amazon Marketplace or Barnes and Noble Used/Out of Print Service. So even if my local used bookstore doesn't carry a copy of the book I want, I can find a used bookstore that does.

I do think it sucks that these major booksellers like B&N and Amazon get almost total say in what books are popular, but the other upside of the internet is that a dedicated writer can put together a publicity campaign online. It isn't easy to overcome the white noise of the internet, but that's not to say that it's impossible.

But I'd be really interested, Paul, in your point of view as to where bookselling is going versus where it should be going versus where it has the potential to go. If you've already written a post like that, let me know because I'd really love to read it.

Posted by arduous | June 4, 2008 1:16 PM

How much did they increase the total pay and benefits of the CEO, CFO, and top 5 execs by when they cut the actual workers to do this?

Somebody do an EDGAR lookup.

Posted by Will in Seattle | June 4, 2008 2:33 PM

Total Compensation
George L Jones, CEO, 1.6 Mil to 2.1 Mil
Edward Willhelm, CFO, 570k to 740k
Robert Gruen, Merchandising and marketing president, 756k to 978k

the biggest one is cedric j nazura, emerging, business technology, chief strat office, 605k to 1.8 mil.

That is total compensation numbers, the actual base salaries are sub 1 million for all.

Posted by Bellevue Ave | June 4, 2008 2:55 PM

Is that column E or column A and did you add in options, benefits, and forgiveable loans?

Posted by Will in Seattle | June 4, 2008 3:24 PM

man, Border's used to be cool when it was all about the books...

Posted by michael strangeways | June 4, 2008 4:04 PM

Column E.

Posted by Bellevue Ave | June 4, 2008 4:24 PM

OK. thanks.

I'm surprised, some of it must be buried in the notes.

Posted by Will in Seattle | June 4, 2008 5:33 PM

it was a fucking bitch to find especially reading the text version.

I also randomly said Column E becaues I assumed it is usually the standard column for total income, but they have columns to J on there.

Posted by Bellevue Ave | June 4, 2008 6:02 PM

interesting - not as overpriced as most CEO plus top 5 exec compensation usually is.

Posted by Will in Seattle | June 4, 2008 7:12 PM

It seems downright cheap.

Posted by Bellevue Ave | June 4, 2008 8:49 PM

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