News and notes from Reston (tm).

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Reston's Vibrant Economy Part 14: Kick off those Sunday shoes

Awesome student loan company Sallie Mae, which lost a mere $1.6 billion in the last quarter, announced that it's secured more than $30 billion in financing to keep it afloat. All it had to do was drop its awesome lawsuit with the people who wanted to buy it until they realized it was, you know, hemorrhaging billions of dollars the way most people lose their remotes in the sofa seatcushions. Or was it... personal?

For Sallie Mae's Albert L. Lord, then chairman and now chief executive, the slow unraveling of the buyout became personal. He contrasted his "land-grant" education as "a Penn State guy" to billionaire investor J. Christopher Flowers's Harvard background and said at one point that he would not accept a reduced price. Later, he urged Flowers to reopen negotiations, but Flowers refused.
Now that's just silly. Had Lord been a Yalie, then it might have been personal. And if he'd gone to Princeton... well, let's just say he'd be polishing Flowers' shoes at the moment.

Anyhoo. Meanwhile Sprint/Nextel/Whatever announced it has canned three top execs.
Sprint announced the immediate departures of three top executives, including Chief Financial Officer Paul Saleh.

The troubled wireless carrier said that in addition to Saleh, Tim Kelly, chief marketing officer, and Mark Angelino, president of sales and distribution, had left.

Last week, Sprint announced it would lay off 4,000 employees and close 125 retail stores -- changes it said would save between $700 million and $800 million a year. The company did not say how many of the layoffs will come from its headquarters in Reston.

Hesse also said he would consider consolidating Sprint's two corporate campuses and moving the headquarters back to Overland Park, Kan., a suburb of Kansas City, where it was before the merger.

Though the company hasn't said where its 4,000 job cuts will fall, analyst Patrick Comack of Zachary Investment Research said he expects the job losses to be at the Reston campus, which would fold soon after.

"The low-hanging fruit for Hesse is to straighten out the campus situation, which Forsee should have done years ago and was part of his incompetence," Comack said.
Better kick off those Sunday shoes!

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