7 companies with mass layoffs in 2012

The job market improved last year, but pink slips kept coming at major names like HP, Pepsi and Citigroup. One common thread was troubled CEOs.

By MSN Money Partner Jan 4, 2013 11:48AM

Business hand receiving a pink slip Tom Grill PhotographerBy 24/7 Wall St.http://247wallst.com/


Whatever recovery the jobs market posted in 2012, the number of mass layoffs remained high. Dozens of companies each fired thousands of workers, with failing firms at the top of the list based on total cuts.


Hewlett-Packard (HPQ), which is so badly off that investors now question its viability, fired 27,000 people in May. That number could rise rapidly as some of its core tech divisions struggle for sales. The botched buyout of Autonomy almost certainly will cause more job cuts in that division, which has, according to HP, much lower profits than forecast. CEO Meg Whitman has said HP sales may not improve for two years or more.


Hostess moved into Chapter 11 so quickly that the public only watched the process in its late stages, when it became clear that Twinkies might disappear. Friction between management and labor did not improve during negotiations, and 18,500 people lost work.


From tech to food to travel: AMR, the parent of American Airlines, also in Chapter 11, fired 13,000 people as the company attempted to show it can be profitable. The actions were part of a plan to emerge from bankruptcy either as an independent or an attractive target for another large carrier. Those plans have come to fruition. US Airways Group (LCC) probably will buy American. A new consolidation between the airlines will cause another round of job cuts.

Across many sectors

Most of the companies that laid people off en masse have at least two things in common. They have been run by CEOs who lost jobs amid pressure to improve results, or they are run by chief executives who could be ousted soon for the same reason. Also, they are companies where future cuts are nearly certain.


Showing that large layoffs were not concentrated in one sector or two, Citigroup (C) cut 11,000 people. Its board of directors apparently did not think those cuts were enough. It fired CEO Vikram Pandit and replaced him with cost-cutting expert Michael Corbat. The new chief executive is expected to set another round of “downsizing” as he shutters underperforming divisions and tries to improve mediocre profits.


The snack and soft drink industry was the source of more job cuts. PepsiCo (PEP), which has battled slow sales of its flagship drink, cut 8,700 jobs. They may have been sacrificed as CEO Indra Krishnamurthy Nooyi effectively saved her job after Wall St. pressure to bolster the company’s share price.


Two of the nation’s weakest retailers cut jobs, and those cuts probably have not ended. Regional grocery chain Food Lion fired 4,900 people. That company has about 1,200 stores. And J.C. Penney (JCP), the most troubled major retailer in the United States, cut 4,700 people as well-paid CEO Ron Johnson made decisions that pressured revenue down by 20%.


More from 24/7 Wall St.

Jan 4, 2013 2:57PM
congress,senate,president,, should all be sent to china...then i think american people will stand an even chance...
Jan 4, 2013 2:53PM
Maybe if we as a country started Nation Building. It would spur job growth. Take a look at any developing country. They are surpassing us quickly. We as a Nation are gridlocked. No spending on infrastructure DUE to CONGRESS. And spending on Wars is what is killing us.

Our highways, Trains, electrical grids, Water storage and treatment. All are near collapse. China even has high speed rail. Venezuela has cars that run on ethanol and sells its oil. And these places have crap for government.  The one thing that has made the USA great was innovation and growth with infrastructure.

Its not spending that's the problem its what we are spending the money on. If you run a business and don't grow it or maintain it it fails. Same with a government or Country.
Jan 4, 2013 4:16PM

American people will NEVER stand a chance until American people STAND UP !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



What happened AMERICANS ?????????? Where did you go????????????????

since when did America and Americans start cowarding down???????????

Jan 4, 2013 1:05PM
Obamanomics is working!   

The unemployed will just have to suffer through four more years of democrat  economic Malaise....

Jan 4, 2013 2:58PM
Don't know why it's so hard for some people to understand obama does not want this to work as we know it.  He wants complete 100% control!  Failure is his open door.
Jan 4, 2013 12:48PM
They may have laid off, but did they hire in China?
Jan 4, 2013 3:44PM

well i guess its time for the ceo and board of directors to actually go out and work since they believe they do all the work anyway

Jan 4, 2013 2:48PM
There are no jobs that cannot be either out-sourced or in-sourced. This all started when people more powerful than you decided who would either be or not be on their team, admitted to their schools, work in their companies, etc. You will have a job until somebody does not like you, and then you will not. Forever. Think about it.
Jan 11, 2013 9:07AM
And Pepsi gives Beyonece 50 million, yet lays off workers..  sheer disgust
Jan 4, 2013 9:04PM
I wonder could we laid off congressman? They get good salary, pension plan,
Jan 4, 2013 6:11PM
If you think that it's bad now just wait a few more months.  There will be more and more tax increases coming our way not to mention layoffs by the thousands.

I just went through the painful experience of renewing our company group insurance,  The good new is that they only went up 11.7%, the bad news is that the deductible went up 50%, we went from 100% coverage to 90/10 coverage and all of the co-pays doubled.  Thank you very much Blue Cross/Blue Shield can I have another?
Jan 4, 2013 6:48PM

Too bad the Feds just don't declare bankruptcy, layoff about 200,000, reorganize and start over as well...........

Jan 4, 2013 6:05PM
Why when times are bad at a company do they always layoff from the bottom up. I know crap rolls downhill. Maybe if we take off the top of the hill the crap will not need to roll. I think if had a large company that was underperforming I would tell my ceo that for every job he cut he would lose that jobs compensation from his salary. Trim from both ends and meet in the middle.
Jan 4, 2013 6:03PM
This is what the Obama supporters did not want revealed to the public all the time they were announcing all kinds of optimistic rhetoric about the employment rate.
Jan 4, 2013 4:08PM
it figures obama is winning , keeping us begging,looking for work
Jan 4, 2013 3:03PM
Another gloom and doom story brought to you by MSN.
Jan 4, 2013 5:32PM
I guess its more important to spend money on whats happening on Mars
Jan 4, 2013 3:23PM
People complaining about not having any jobs are too lazy to make their own moonshine.
Jan 4, 2013 6:30PM

The thing about these layoffs is most of these companies have been mismanaging their funds.  I bet if they looked deeper they would see that management got involved with hedge funds in an attempt to make more money like the GM management did and made some very poor decisions at the top.   Other companies haven't tried diversify or maintain pace in changing markets and thus were destined to fall apart. 

Jan 4, 2013 8:36PM
I am retired and don't have a lot of extra money. However, I don't see much I want to buy. Mostly, I worry about what the heck am I supposed to with all this stuff I own. 
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