Thread regarding Bank of New York Mellon Corp. layoffs

How were layoffs determined when Charles Scharf was CEO

Working at Wells Fargo now. Can you share how layoffs were determined at BNY Mellon when Charlie was ceo? How were you impacted? How did they determine who stayed and who hit the pink slip with the spans and layers initiative? Lucky you are no longer dealing with him, but would appreciate your input on this topic. In survival mode now...

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Post ID: @OP+15C5GLAN

17 replies (most recent on top)

Charlie first targets people of age definitely above 50. Then he consolidates the levels from top to bottom according to him from ceo to lowest level it should be 6 or 7. Now in that case many managers will go.. He will consolidate the groups to be more nimble and hence layoff the best. Will also layoff those who doesnt agree with his stance. He will bring in young folks to reduce cost to replace those positions and get more work done.. this is his way of keeping people on thier toes.. he always does slowly i mean in waves not everything at once. ATB

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Post ID: @fcti+15C5GLAN

Wells is a sinking ship. the first horseman was scharf, second, thrid and fourth are coming.

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Post ID: @fvkk+15C5GLAN

Prior to the time I got laid off in 2019, I was rated exceeds and high meets. Worked my a– off for five years. Late weekdays and weekends. Received a raise of 20k and a bonus of over 30k. Less than 5 months later, rated below meets and was told I needed to do more. No other real reason or performance related feedback. And I was 54. 👍🏼 I know KARMA will comeback and take them where they belong.

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Post ID: @9npn+15C5GLAN

No rhyme or reason but there were definite patterns:

  • over 50.
  • have u been with Bnyn for over 15 years.
  • rated be for more than 1 or 2 periods
  • a manager who felt intimidated by subject matter experts
  • are you in a role that could be asborbed by someone else?
  • can the role be changed or eliminated

If you can check those off, you have a higher probability of being laid off.

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Post ID: @8yri+15C5GLAN

But here LOR reports to SKB. At wells he has BKZ reporting to SKS but instead LOR should be routed through JSJ. It should be the other way around. The CRO should report to the CIO, and indirectly report to the CAO. Instead the SVP of CRO reports directly to the CFO. This place is SOL.

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Post ID: @7pza+15C5GLAN

how did Scharf organize Risk (front line and second line of defense) ?
At Wells he moved Head of Risk to report to him and Ent Testing sits under (but a lead was forced out it seems). We are wondering what comes next. The Exec Head of Risk will have LOB CROs under, but it is not known at this point how they organize Enterprise Functions, including Operational Risk - Technology, INformation Security and others.

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Post ID: @6mkq+15C5GLAN

You know you're about to be laid off when you're doing a good job but get negative reviews anyway. Take me for instance. I lead a team to complete all of our goals for the high profile project everyone was working on. My teammates actually gave me peer commendations during that project. I designed and implemented many of the processes that the entire team are following now.

I got a below expectations review, with the explanation from my manager that he tried to get me a better rating but his boss wouldn't let him. Alrighty then. I immediately started looking for a job and had one lined up (with a higher salary) by the time the axe fell about a month later. The executive clowns at that company can eat a big floppy donkey d|ck as far as I'm concerned, but they were just following the plans laid out by old Chucky Schnarrf. So the biggest, floppiest donkey d|ck goes to him.

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Post ID: @6qck+15C5GLAN

A lot of it was based on performance reviews. If you were below expectations, you almost certainly got laid off. They also considered some volunteers at higher levels who wanted to take the severance check. Managers who were not onboard with Charlie's strategy were also let go. I was not personally impacted but several colleagues were.

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Post ID: @5zny+15C5GLAN

Visionary? you must be joking. the only vision he and the current CEO have are their own selfish pockets.

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Post ID: @3vjx+15C5GLAN

Charlie was a visionary CEO, did couple big deal for for BNY, example one with Microsoft, he strongly support diversity. BNY tech was pretty laid back and needed serious facelift. BUT all the planning he did, did not go as it should.
Middle management were too scared as they have no idea how to lead and innovate. They thought they are the target and started forming alliance and took every possible step to take revenge on people who are smart and looking for a change.
If you know what you doing and need your job at WF, and your manager is dumb, just say YES to everything they say then you should be fine. Today many companies don’t like YES guys, performance and results matter. At BNY there are no proper tool to measure the outcome, so it’s up to the manager. That’s where everything got messed up and Charles left because he saw no future with some of these folks. BNY is falling back to square ONE.

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Post ID: @2lvv+15C5GLAN

The best, most knowledgeable person in our group was let go in Asset Servicing. He knew everything and pretty much did everything. Super honest and truly cared about helping his direct reports. He was around 33-34 years old. I'm guessing they let him go because he refused to give a BE at mid-year. Although he did give one for year-end reviews.

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Post ID: @1bov+15C5GLAN

In my experience, the layoffs were based on whether one's manager either: a) liked you; or b) felt threatened by your expertise and ability to do his job better than he could ever do it. There was a guy in my old unit that had been rated BE for 3 years straight, but the department head never did anything to get rid of him because it would make him look bad because he hired the guy. When the manager was axed, the newly promoted manager just loved the guy, so he was able to stay despite the fact he was (and is) a consistently poor performer. There's no rhyme or reason - except if you are an SME, then Lester Owens flat out said that he hates those. As head of ops, he's Charlie's ax man, so if you are in Ops and know what you are doing, be ware. Good luck!

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Post ID: @1ayz+15C5GLAN

As a manager, I agree with Post ID: @1igu+15C5GLAN. It may have seemed quite different from a subordinate position. People often have higher or lower opinions of themselves, including managers. In any case, the layoffs and reorganizations were often unfair and/or senseless, and resulted in the mess that is BNY these days. Who knows if they will ever recover, given everything else that is going on.

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Post ID: @1caa+15C5GLAN

If you're terrible and liked you will keep your job. If you're excellent and not best friends with your boss, you may be gone. That's how BNYM did it. Production and quality of work are at the bottom of the criteria for layoffs.

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Post ID: @1cxp+15C5GLAN

@1dxs+15C5GLAN, you are spot on! You said it so much better than I could. I see the same in DAS and it’s still going on. Many are just plain scared to speak up about unhappiness and try to keep on keeping on, but personally, I don’t give a sh!t. Yes, clients don’t have a lot of choice in the market, so they get what they get...a sh–ty poor quality product, due to sh–ty managers that really don’t care about quality only very limited metrics and check marks and not really systemic quality in the organization. This place is disgusting.

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Post ID: @1nlw+15C5GLAN

To put it bluntly, the people that were laid off (at least in my opinion) where:

  • - People who've been at the company for many years in the same role (usually subject matter experts)
  • - People who were not part of the management's inner circle (didn't s— up to managers)
  • - People who seemed to be a future problem for management (drama, hr complains, etc.)

The people above were all given below expectations on their mid and year-end reviews were pushed out because of the poor working conditions and unreasonable expectations they were held to. The ones that refused to leave by unconventional means and endured the toxicity were eventually lumped into the "non-performer" group and were laid off accordingly.

Most (maybe 90%) of the folks that I saw being laid off weren't even that expensive or bad performer; in fact, a lot of them were cheap and extremely efficient. It seems all really came down to office politics.

Again - no numbers or facts, just my opinion based on my observations.

My theory on what happened is that Charlie took a look at the financials and decided BNY needed a 20% salary expense reduction, and since BNY doesn't have the proper metrics or analysts in HR, they just dummed it down to basically "1 in 5 people needed to go". He let that decision up to each business CEO's discretion which in turn was then delegated to each individual manager's discretion.

This was abused and the wrong people were let go for the reasons stated above and after 20% of the headcount reduction happened, they realized the SG&A cost was still not up to the budget. that's when they decided on spans and layers.

I'm pretty sure if there were readily available metrics in which to judge people by, BNY would have been spared a lot of the intellect leakage, but I can't blame Charlie for that; NEXEN 'the solve all be all' gadget BNY bought from Kumar's (BNY old CIO) cousin ended up being just a steaming pile of... well you know.

At the end of the day, if there is a lesson to be learned here from looking at BNY in the last decade, it's that you get what you pay for. Financially speaking, BNY is not going to go anywhere - it's a safe stock with necessary products. It has a monopoly on a few markets and is a huge player in extremely boring, basic but ultimately necessary financial products.

My advice to you is if you don't like what you're doing at wells, then be proactive and look for another job. even if you're not scared of loosing your job.

Take control, don't let some white guy that used to fetch Jamie Dimon's coffee and run his errands control your life.

F that guy. you do you bud.

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Post ID: @1dxs+15C5GLAN

It went on for years. A number came down from the top. Middle managers divided it up and delegated it to lower managers. A manager could recommend a poor performer or a person who wanted to be laid off (with a package). Or a manager could disagree and their manager would try to achieve the number some other way, maybe from another group. Sometimes a manager was told who to lay off, and never knew why. In those cases, maybe it was “personal” or a budget issue. At the beginning, many who were let go were no surprise. As it continued, good people were let go and we lost subject matter experts and expertise.

Then came spans and layers, and that was really bizarre. A team needed at least ten so a manager sometimes got people with unrelated jobs. Team leaders were forced to keep their team role and manage, too. Some managers lost their titles and took on individual contributor roles. Other will share their experience here. It was lose/lose all around.

Eventually, people who could leave, DID.

BNY is a mess. There are not enough experienced people left, everyone is overworked, and there are not enough good managers left to help fix the organization.

It takes a while, so you may have time to get out for a better opportunity.

Good luck at Wells.

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Post ID: @1igu+15C5GLAN

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