News and notes from Reston (tm).

Monday, January 14, 2008

Reston's Vibrant Economy Part 11: At least you won't have to run to Blockbuster to pick up Footloose

Turns out Sprint Nextel's newest awesome plan to solve its cratering customer base and worthless, static-filled phones is fairly simple: they're going to lay scads of people off.

Sprint Nextel is planning to lay off several thousand employees and considering consolidating its headquarters at the Overland Park campus, The Wall Street Journal reported today.

The Journal quoted unnamed sources and said the cuts were meant to show investors the company was serious about holding down costs. The company has had its “operational headquarters” at the local Sprint campus and its “executive headquarters” in Reston, Va., the former Nextel home city.
On the bright side, getting laid off means you don't have to move to Kansas.

Also, Sprint's awesome Wimax service, which will allow cellphone users to download the above YouTube video in amazing real time, is set for an April launch. How exciting is that, Sprint CTO Barry West?

"People will be excited about our rates. They won't be ecstatic about them because we're not going to give it away," said West.
Now there's some good PR.

Could be worse, though. Things at cross-town neighbor Sallie Mae are going so swimmingly they're basically having to bribe people to come work there. At least if you're a C-level employee, that is:
The Reston-based student loan company agreed to pay John F. "Jack" Remondi an annual salary of $1 million. Remondi also was given a form of stock award that would deliver $2 million for every $1 increase in the company's share price, subject to certain conditions.

Remondi, 45, could earn an annual cash bonus of up to $3 million. His perks include up to two years of housing in Reston and $100,000 a year for personal use of corporate aircraft. If he is fired without cause within a year, he would receive at least $1.5 million in severance pay, according to a company filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Remondi's $1 million salary was higher than any other chief financial officer's in a survey by the research firm SNL Financial of 2006 compensation at banks, thrifts and specialty lending companies with stock market valuations of more than $5 billion. It was more than double the $465,000 median base salary for the 23 CFOs in that group -- and 150 percent more than the $400,000 salary Remondi's predecessor at Sallie Mae received in 2006.

High executive compensation at Sallie Mae over the years has helped make federally subsidized student lenders a target for politicians.
Can't imagine why. Though we wonder if that awesome Reston housing allowance is for a swinging C-level bachelor pad like this.

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