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Home Savings Employees Poorly Rewarded for Effort

March 29, 1998

I was a Home Savings of America employee during its failed attempt to "merge" with Great Western in 1997 ["Home Savings to Be Acquired in $9.9-Billion Deal," March 18].

Perhaps the highlight of the aborted takeover was a statement by the Home Savings CEO to the effect that Home Savings employees would be spared from layoffs resulting from the merger. Many thought that his statement, or series of statements, was at least a contributing factor to Great Western's pursuit of a "white knight" (Washington Mutual) and eventual merger.

Of course, the Home Savings CEO survived this indiscretion unscathed. I doubt that a lower-level employee would have experienced a similar fate.

Meanwhile, Home Savings employees continued to work hard in pursuit of the CEO's goal of attaining a 15% return on equity under the assumption that they would be "rewarded" in some way.

The employees were rewarded in early 1998, in the form of cash bonuses totaling a few hundred dollars to each employee. Little did they know what their ultimate reward would be. For all their hard work and loyalty, they received word that their CEO had been negotiating their careers away in pursuit of his own golden parachute.

KEVIN D. SPEAKS

Pasadena

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