Thread regarding Northwestern Mutual layoffs


CM was key in the learnvest aquisition with tim schafer. NM bought LV for $350M. the story has changed many times since then but no matter how anybody looks at it its a total failure. and nm continues to throw hundreds of milllions dollars of policy owner money at this failure so that the board and policy owners dont see that this was a failure. if nm was a public company cm, avt, ts, and jf would have been thrown out and the sec would have charged them with defrauding investers.

sales continue to go down. they keep on coming up with new ways to convince everybody that this is working but it is not. financial representatives are being lied to about the new planning tool that we spent $350M on. It hardly works. the first version did not work. the second version did not work. so they are building a third version that will also not work. it has also leaked private infomriaton.

most leaders from the original lv are gone. most of the original engineers are gone. if somebody told the truth for once and woudl say this but if they did it would mean people like christian mitchell and even john schlifske should be fired. so now christian mitchall is doing whatever he can to make the lv purchase look good. including firing nm employees. over the next 3 to 4 weeks, many nm people will be laid off. this is all at the hand of christian mitchall. he also continues to give power to people in nyc because if he didnt, people would question why we even have the ny office. nm needs to find money to prop up the cm lie so cm believes cutting nm employees is the way to do that.

the transformation of nm is about firing the employees that made it a success so that christian mitchall, tim schafer and john schlifkse can keep their huge salaries while covering up their huge billion dollar mistake!!!

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Post ID: @OP+WamahoL

20 replies (most recent on top)

Absolutely the truth. I worked at LearnVest during this time and we all laughed our way to the bank. We joked and high fived on how stupid NM was and continues to be.

Post ID: @4sdbn+WamahoL

here comes the disaster again

more lay-offs ahead

and more non-koolaid drinking leaders will get thrown out

and guess who is behind them again

Post ID: @22pxw+WamahoL

In the end the knucklehead executives tried to boil everyone down to a line on a spreadsheet, and if you could retire early (with the bridge) you were out. Doing it that way totally screws the business because you end up getting rid of people who have the most knowledge of the business and systems. Executives cut too deep into the organization and are now paying the price for the brain drain.

Post ID: @1wtqc+WamahoL

In the end Schlifske and the board are responsible. Executives tried to pan this layoff as a need to save money. I’ve seen two spreadsheets from 2017 showing 793 layoffs. These are the spreadsheets a company must send to employees when layoffs happen. However, the 2017 form 5500 filed with the Department of Labor shows the company only shrunk by 382 employees. So, the company was hiring at the same time employees were being laid off and, in some cases, hiring direct replacements. So much for the need to save money. Use the website to see the form plan number is 003 and EIN number is 390509570

Post ID: @1wcem+WamahoL

I certainly hope NM survives this, because a lot of people are depending on this company. Schlifske has forgotten that technology is only a facilitator and it’s the people who give the company a fighting chance. For 2 years he has been shedding one of the company’s most valuable assets, the employees at the home office. The financial report will be out soon, and we’ll have some details then.

Post ID: @1twjn+WamahoL

Schlifske has been CEO since 2010 so I’d say none of this is proactive. I’m not sure what part of the organization you think was change-averse, but I did contract IT for many years at NM, and can tell you there was constant change there. I also know that the tech savvy employees in IT, many who are no longer there, were constantly learning new technologies and processes. That’s what tech savvy employees do. The main issue I noticed is leadership’s inability to make decisions on what’s relevant and then fund the project. In the end Schlifske tried to boil every employee and role down to a line on a spreadsheet, and then offshored a boat loaded of jobs.

Post ID: @1ljzy+WamahoL

Over 1,400 employees have been shown the door due to mismanagement by John Schlifske. NM is a joke in Milwaukee. They clearly lost focus the they are an INSURANCE COMPANY! Not the bright new shiny object in the room. Talk to one of the so-called executives and ask them about LearnVest and they come up with some talking point, but look very scared. Everyone knows they made a huge mistake!

Meet with one of their "Financial Representatives" and be prepared to be underwhelmed by a millennial who still lives at home because he is on full commission. It is funny because you are talking about your future and they are talking about what mom made for dinner last night. Totally unprofessional and sad!

Post ID: @11cwt+WamahoL

John Schlifske, Tim Grogan and Christian Mitchell are the biggest jokes in the history of "leadership". John Schlifske should never been elevated to the CEO role. He would be going nowhere in the current #metoo movement, but unfortunately for NM he got the job despite his huge ethical and company policy lapses. WHAT HE DID TO HIS ORIGINAL FAMILY IS SO DESPICABLE I CANNOT EVEN BRING MYSELF TO TYPE IT HERE! The board of directors was well aware of Schlifke's lack of real leadership (on every level) and yet gave this blubbering fool the CEO spot. Greg Oberland at least wouldn't have been a fool like Schlifske is. Steve Radke is a complete, I repeat.....complete id--t and it is no surprise that he had unethical relationships at work! Oh man....a conversation I had with the low IQ id--t will forever be one of the most enjoyable exchanges I have ever had! Emilia Sherifova...she is the text book of The Peter Principle! So many "aspiring leaders" at NM are simply over promoted, over hyped, overpaid, self aggrandizing fools. No other company in Milwaukee has such an out of whack culture. Many companies make mistakes on over paying for acquisitions, however, NM wins the overpaid acquisition award on a national level for buying the piece of c-ap called We Haven't Learned Yet, I mean LearnVest! Alexa Von Scammer pulled a fast one over on John Schlifske, but he is used to women lower in title getting his undivided attention.....NM has spent millions scrubbing the internet of John's messes......where is Manista? Of course he is an immoral sellout like his boss. No surprise since he has short man syndrome.....

Cream City Labs is a complete joke with a lot of fast talking, flamboyant dressing, under performing millennial dimwits! I love reading their posts on LinkedIn and seeing the id--ts around town. What a joke! The funny part is.....the secret is out: Northwestern Mutual is a horrible place to work! It is sad to see a once strong company falter so badly. I worked for many years at NM and was lucky to get out before they heartlessly attacked their employees. Watch for severance packages to be eliminated for the next round of layoffs. Despite huge amounts of money, this company doesn't treat people well. The secret is out with a lot people deciding not to go with this overpriced insurance. RIP NM.....A fool's paradise!

Post ID: @11qdy+WamahoL

People! People! People! Calm down. Mother Mutual is in fine shape and her future is as bright as ever. All transitions are difficult, and NM’s transition is bound to experience some of those same difficulties. Every single employee knew the status quo was not tenable any longer. John Schlifske took very bold steps to address the weaknesses which came to light after the board selected him to lead the company into a new digital future. He doesn’t, I’m sure, claim that every decision he and his executive leadership team have made is perfect, but his primary goal when he became CEO had two components; the primary goal was to keep the company viable, and he did this by very rapidly changing the culture and mindset from being incredibly change-averse to being incredibly change-facing. You all know that NM, just three short years ago, was populated mainly by employees who, even if they wanted to, did not have the necessary skills to embrace change. They had no knowledge of, or interest in, any new technologies or processes which could help propel NM to a future where she would be more relevant, more financially secure and more innovative. That John and the board chose to proactively address the backlog of weaknesses which NM had accrued over previous decades will one day be applauded by all future policyowners and employees.

Post ID: @Qenc+WamahoL

Hamilton (Analytics Guy) left because they would not give him what they promised him for several years, centralized data and Analytics. Also, budget and commitment to do it. He said do it or I walk, they called his bluff and we are paying for it. This company is no further ahead than it was in 2015. I might say we have regressed from that point. Sad given the dollars and time. We failed, didn't react and are further behind. Lastly we continue to let direction be set by people that are not familiar with our history and problems, have days on the job and have no intention of a long term stay. Sad sad sad

Post ID: @roik+WamahoL

All this talk about Karl Gouverneur, Tim Schaefer, and Christian Mitchell (NMs next CEO)...You got it all wrong. Karl runs innovation in a company that does not innovate so not relevant. Tim is down to being a director at best (again not relevant) and Christian is John's henchman, firing people left and right....all have fault in this LV mess. however, Christian is bullet proof and Schlifske will protect him.


The real issue is Emilia Sherifova and Alexa Von Tobel. Some facts...

Employee engagement was so bad in Technology they stopped measuring it!

Emilia hired 400 people after they fired 400 people (layoff) under the "modern engineers" she has to layoff 300 people.

Emilia is now creating a plan that should have been created when she took over technology 2 years ago.

The company needs to spend $1B in legacy but they dont have this in the budget

Thanks to Emilia the pension and employee benefits will be changing

Emilia also is the mother of bringing back what she eliminated - Governance, PMO, Architecture and SAFe ...go figure

as for Alexa

OK...Alexa harbored s-xual relationships between her teams CFO John Gardner and Stephanie Kirkpatrick (i dont know what she does but she is in LV AZ),

Alexa harbored s-xual relationship between Ainslie Simmons and Steve Radke (she is gone now)

Alexa wrote a book and NM paid for her time to write a book which will likely disparage life insurance

Alexa is invested in companies she does not disclose. Private investments that conflict with NM

Alexa is John Schlifske's tool and John keeps her for status

I can go on but i dont have my inside connections anymore since i left. I just hope that they return to greatness as Milwaukee needs this company not NY

Post ID: @qrci+WamahoL

What was gained after NML spent the $350 acquisition cost plus another $500M in additional expenses for each year they own the great new york office?

Fiction- They acquired a cutting edge tool and technology

Fact- The planning tool was smoke and mirrors. It was a spreadsheet with an ok website in front of it. That nobody wanted to pay subscription fees to use. If it was so great then why was LV bleeding money

Fiction- The first LV and NML planning tool was good

Fact- it barely worked. and when it did it didn't want people to buy permanent life insurance. still nobody used it

Fiction- NML acquired great talent

Fact- most of the talent left. and what exactly did that great talent build? something that hardly worked and nobody would pay for. and it had terrible security flaws

Fiction- NML acquired great new leaders

Fact - most are gone. And the ones that are not gone yet will be gone soon. and when LV replaces them with some of the next group of talent they will be gone soon too

Fiction- Alexa is a great leader

Fact- Alexa was FIRED

me and others i know are so glad we left that place

Post ID: @qfao+WamahoL

I worked at NM several years ago and was there for almost a decade. I'm sooo glad I got the hell out of there before all this LV c-ap. And from what I hear after Zore left the place is being run by a bunch of SJWs.

I hear nothing good about LV from my friends that are still there and I can't imagine how starting Cream City Labs, buying a jet and hangar, etc. is helping NM sell financial products. Losing good talent and continually gutting benefits is just driving what good talent that's still there away. Yet, amazingly so many of the people I worked with there that barely knew how to turn on a computer are still employed!

I will say I'm not surprised Karl G is in the middle of this mess. Why they spent the money they did to vet and hire him is beyond me and shows that even back then there were too many inmates running the asylum. The guy is totally incompetent and horribly arrogant. He is a big reason I left and will not even think about returning to that place.

For the good folks that are still there, I really hope they right the ship and make it a good place to work again.

Post ID: @njtm+WamahoL

if this were a public company john Shlifske would be fired.

Post ID: @lskd+WamahoL

The issue is not Christian Mitchell or Tim S or Karl G.

The issue is Emilia Sherifova and her New York A--holes not in charge of technology asking for 90 days to create a plan to fix the technology debt issue. NM has had tech debt like all companies for years and this woman is promising to spend $1B and fix it all. delusional. laying off the good MKE people and replacing with NY blow hards like Manual Barbero and Rex Hamilton.

As for the Analytics guy - he was fired.

Its not the same NML and the trustees need to pay attention. Emilia will ruin this company.

OH - and the newest character in this saga in Don "BIGMOUTH" Robertson. New HR guy that will change the compensation plan to be more like wall street. he is a silicon valley prima donna that has no respect for the past and is putting in place new behaviors when the old ones were put in place last year. Poor Jo E...having to deal with this clown..She will likely be put out to pasture and the People function will be Don's.

NMLers - your company is run by the new kids Emilia, Diditi, Don Robertson and Christian. With John Schlifske eating this sh-- sandwich with a company that is not growing and not adding agents

clearly the company has to change but with these NY a--holes its not good.

Post ID: @ledu+WamahoL

Solid quack conspiracy theorists with bad misinformation and worse spelling.

Post ID: @bwoh+WamahoL

You forgot to mention Karl Gouverneur.

John Schlifske, Christian Mitchell, Tim Schaefer, and Karl Gouverneur are the "masterminds" responsible for this disaster. Besides buying vaporware for planning software, they entrusted a once great company to a bunch of incompetent, self promoters from New York who have zero real accomplishments to their name. The only thing they were successful at was selling fools gold to a tired and clueless leadership team responsible for a once great company. We now have the blind leading the blind. Ouch, this is going to hurt.

Shame on the rest of the executive leadership team (Oberland, Carter,Manista, Eisenhart, Grogan, Joelson) for not standing up and challenging these individuals. I had high hopes that at least one of these individuals would stand up instead of whither. Those executives that did challenge, and told the emperor he had no clothes, are now long gone. There is nobody left with a backbone.

Hold on, the worse is yet to come. The planning software will never be successful despite our billion dollar (yes, a billion since the acquisition) investment in learnvest. The company will struggle with technology projects with NY mo--ns in charge. The dividend rate will continue to fall farther behind Mass Mutual. How long will Northwestern Mutual Advisors sell for this company, or are they already selling away?

NM's answer, lets get rid of more talented individuals who served the company very well, and use that money to feed this dumpster fire. Ouch.

Does NM have a board of directors representing our policyowners, or an incompetent leadership team? Ed Zore did standup to JES and called this acquisition a disaster, and he was shown the door. The rest are silent. Why do we pay them to represent the policyowners?

It is time to clean house, starting with John Schlifske, Christian Mitchell, Tim Schaefer, and Karl Gouverneur. You might as well get rid of Carter, Manista, Eisenhart, Grogan, and Joelson as well since they have done nothing besides protect themselves. Find a board that represents policyowners versus their own pockets.

Until this occurs, this story is only going to become more pitiful.

Post ID: @agse+WamahoL

I heard the guy brought into nml by Alexa to lead the analytics department quit or was fired last week. Maybe that was because of that guy? A friend said he was the guy who fired people in the investment area too.

Post ID: @itn+WamahoL

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