Will Exelon Job Cutting Derail Future Recruiting?

This past Monday an Exelon representative at the ANS Annual Conference in Atlanta provided a compelling description of efforts they have underway to attract and retain nuclear talent.  Three days later the company announced they will eliminate 500 jobs, including 400 from their corporate staff.  It raises eyebrows because the company is viewed by others in the industry as already “lean” and very effective at corporate oversight of their nuclear operations.

John Rowe, Chairman and CEO of Exelon

John Rowe, Chairman and CEO of Exelon

Having been through several reorganizations in three different nuclear companies, I certainly understand the need to periodically reassess and adjust the structure and size of an organization.  On the other hand, I can’t help but wonder how the layoffs will be viewed by the company’s workforce development partners and by potential new employees who may be considering careers with one of the industry’s largest employers.

Fortunately, there are plenty of opportunities out there for displaced Exelon employees.  A quick look at just one job posting board revealed more than 50 openings.

The company also stated they intend to reduce pay and freeze executive salaries to yield a savings of $350 Million next year which is about 3.5% of their operating and maintenance budget.

While Chairman and CEO John Rowe blamed the economic slowdown on the need to cut jobs, it’s tough not to consider how the cost-cutting might be related to Exelon’s attempt at a hostile takeover of NRG Energy.

Addition 6/26/2009 – Sources at Exelon stated that the layoffs announced earlier in the week would be focused in corporate suppport functions and would not affect nuclear technical functional areas.

Author: John Wheeler

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