Say What?

It seems even the biggest name in e-commerce isn't impervious to falling rock from the dotcom shakeout - although it may be trying to keep it on the q.t. In a release last
Tuesday with the header "Amazon.com Expects Pro Forma Operating Profitability in Fourth Quarter 2001," the company revealed (in paragraph seven) it will cut its workforce by 1,300
jobs. The release also said affected employees will be eligible for severance pay and a trust fund in two years. Our armchair analysis is that Amazon is trying to disassociate
itself with other big-name downsizings like CNN, DaimlerChrysler, and AOL. However, we've seen other companies take a more direct approach towards announcing layoffs. Lucent
issued a recent release saying 10,000 employees would be the axed by March, boldly using the word "restructuring" in the header. Is it better to sugarcoat bad news or cut right to
the chase? Email us your opinion. smclaughlin@phillips.com