Exxon is disguising layoffs as performance-based job cuts, according to current and former employees.
Several employees said they received no negative feedback prior to being told that they were ranked as poor performers and forced out of the company.
Exxon presents itself as a stable giant within a volatile industry, in part to attract talent, documents show.
“We do not have a target to reduce headcount through our talent management process,” Ashley Alemayehu, an Exxon representative, said in a statement. “We have a rigorous talent management process which routinely assesses employee performance.”
For more stories like this, sign up here for our weekly energy newsletter, Power Line.
Like many of her colleagues, Katie considered herself a hard worker. Her manager told her as much, often throwing compliments her way about the value she was delivering to Exxon, her employer, and the largest oil company in the US.
Earlier this summer she was told she was in good standing, quelling fears that she’d be axed as part of Exxon’s performance-based cuts, which were ramping up in the wake of the worst oil downturn in a generation.
Then everything changed.
Days ago, Katie was told she was among the company’s worst performers during Exxon’s annual review process. Her options were to resign or enroll in a performance improvement plan that she knew employees rarely passed.
Katie, an alias we’re using to protect the employee’s identity, chose to leave the company.
Exxon is hoping that thousands of others will make a similar choice, in order to cut costs and avoid public layoffs, according to internal documents and 19 current and former workers. Katie’s identity is known to Business Insider, and we verified that she worked at Exxon.
As Business Insider previously reported, Exxon made two big changes to its performance-review system in April, right as oil prices collapsed. The changes put as many as 10% of the company’s workers in the same situation as Katie — they can resign or retire, or attempt the performance-improvement process.
The coronavirus pandemic cratered demand for fuel, sending oil prices tumbling and slamming the finances of major oil companies. To reduce costs many laid off staff. BP and Schlumberger, for instance, are cutting a combined 31,000 workers.
Click here to subscribe to Power Line, Business Insider’s weekly energy newsletter.
Exxon, which has about 75,000 workers, has taken a different approach, leaning instead on performance-based cuts. The …read more
Source:: Business Insider