OPERATIONS

Lowe’s laying off about 1,700 managers, adding weekend staff

BY CSA STAFF

Morrisville, N.C. — Lowe’s Cos. announced Tuesday that it is laying off approximately 1,700 middle managers across the United States in an effort to cut costs as its profit trains rival The Home Depot. The retailer also plans to add 8,000 to 10,000 weekend sales assistants to improve staffing during its stores’ busiest times.

"We are streamlining our store management team — creating assistant manager positions (four to six per store) and placing members of the existing management team in those positions," company spokeswoman Julie Yenichek told Reuters.

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Leadership survey: Walmart and McDonald’s in, Zappos and Ikea out

BY CSA STAFF

Philadelphia — A survey released Tuesday by management consultancy Hay Group, ranking the 20 best companies for in terms of leadership, said that both Walmart and McDonald’s made the sixth annual list, but incumbents Zappos and Ikea dropped out of the rankings.

According to the “Best Companies for Leadership Study and Top 20 list,” which ranks the best companies for leadership around the globe and examines how those companies develop current and future leaders, General Electric occupied the No. 1 position, followed by Procter & Gamble, Intel Corp., Siemens and Banco Santander.

According to Hay Group’s study, all of the Top 20 companies report that everyone at every level of the organization has the opportunity to develop and practice the capabilities needed to lead others, compared to less than 70% of all other companies in the study. In addition, 90% of the Top 20 companies report that people are expected to lead regardless of whether they have a formal position of authority, compared to only 59% of other companies.

“The Top 20 Best Companies for Leadership are at the forefront of a significant shift away from hierarchical organizational operating models,” said Rick Lash, director in Hay Group’s Leadership and Talent Practice and co-leader of the Best Companies for Leadership Study. “Leadership in the twenty-first century is about leading at all levels; not restricting it to title. As organizations become flatter, the best leaders are learning they must check their egos at the door and become increasingly sensitive to diversity, generational and geographical issues.”

Hay Group’s study also found that the shift in organizational culture away from top-down leadership extends beyond employees at headquarters. All of the Top 20 companies encourage local leaders to participate in decisions made at headquarters, compared with 72% of all other companies. Similarly, 95% of the Top 20 companies report that ideas coming from subsidiary leaders are just as likely to be implemented as those from headquarters, compared with 76% of all other companies.

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Bon-Ton re-ups CEO’s contract, promotes COO

BY CSA STAFF

York, Pa. — The Bon-Ton Stores said Monday that it has extended president and CEO Bud Bergren’s contract through Feb. 5, 2012, and has promoted Barbara Schrantz to COO.

Under the newly announced agreement, Bergren’s contract will automatically renew annually, unless the board chooses otherwise. Schrantz will assume the role of COO on Jan. 30. She is currently executive VP sales promotion and marketing.

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