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Feb 14, 2018

Shaw leader admits to ‘big mis-step’ as buyout deadline looms

The Takeaway with Amanda Lang: How Shaw's buyout plan backfired

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A senior Shaw Communications official is admitting the company made a "big mis-step" in its handling of an employee buyout campaign.

"It's clear that we made a big mis-step in how we rolled out the Voluntary Departure Program, despite best intentions to put the power in our employees hands," wrote Chris Kucharski, Shaw's consumer and business unit president, in a recent email to employees that was obtained by BNN.

"Execution is everything and we failed on this front," he added.

As originally reported by BNN's Tara Weber, Shaw notified staff on Jan. 29 that it was launching a buyout program.

At the time, Shaw Communications President Jay Mehr framed it as "an intentionally disruptive program." Staff were told they had until Feb. 14 to accept the offer.



Uptake for the buyout packages was far surpassing the company's target earlier this month, prompting Shaw to ask some employees to reconsider their decision, sources recently told BNN. 

A spokesperson for Shaw has thus declined to comment on how many eligible workers accepted the package nor whether the company is asking some employees to reconsider their decision to leave.

In a press release on Jan. 30, Shaw confirmed 6,500 employees would be eligible and indicated the company anticipated a 10-per-cent acceptance rate.

According to an internal document obtained by BNN, the buyout package offers employees six months' pay, plus an additional month for each year of employment, up to a limit of 30 months' pay.