Exxon Accused Of Disguising Layoffs As Performance-Based Cuts

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Exxon is cutting employees in an attempt to cut costs and avoid public layoffs in light of the coronavirus pandemic.

Internal documents, leaked audio, and 19 insiders have revealed that Exxon is disguising layoffs within the company as being due to poor performance, according to a report by Business Insider.

One employee says she was told that she was among the company’s worst performers even despite being praised throughout her time with the company. She was then given the option to either resign or enroll in a performance improvement plan that employees rarely passed. Exxon is reportedly doing the same to employees throughout the entire company in order to cut costs and avoid public layoffs.

The pandemic has had drastic effects on the oil industry, plummeting prices with the lower demand for fuel. Other oil companies like BP and Schlumberger cut a combined 31,000 employees to curb cost effects. Exxon, however, has begun cutting employees based on performance. In April, the company changed its performance-review system in a way that put 10 percent of employees in a position to choose resignation or the performance improvement plan.

Ashley Alemayehu, a representative for Exxon, maintains that the review process is not designed to cut workers.

"We do not have a target to reduce headcount through our talent management process," she said. "We do not have any plans for layoffs at this time."

Though Sam Margolin, an analyst at Wolfe Research, asserts that it comes as no surprise that Exxon would be in a position requiring them to lower their head count.

"Clearly, demand for energy is going to be down next year," he said. "In that environment, the company is going to be doing less, they're going to be spending less. That would suggest a lower headcount."

Read the full report here.

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