Thursday, January 31, 2008

Ups and downs - is it the genes?


Ironic - it was on my company ski trip that I learned that Yahoo! had formally announced layoffs. I was musing how and why fortunes change dramatically across a few years!

I remembered a tidbit of information that I'd learned at a Verne Harnish talk on company DNA/philosophy/culture and compensation.

Apparently, Goldman Sachs has approximately half the number of employees compared to Morgan Stanley (and Merrill Lynch) but the average salary is much higher, and the profit per employee for Goldman is 3 times higher. The question - which company is better prepared for a downturn? The answer - layoffs of equivalent magnitude would impact the company with more employees greater (more disruption). Is that downturn here?

Interestingly, I believe the sub-prime woes have not really impacted Goldman as much as the rest of the financial sector, right? Is it just a coincidence?

Maybe that tidbit of information is worth noting!! Hiring was rampant at both Y and G in 2005/2006 - but maybe they hired differently? Is it a DNA issue or just that everyone gets older?
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