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At EMD's Woodland Hills HQ, staffers were called in and told one by one whether they were still employed, and if not, how many weeks’ severance they’d be receiving.
LABELS HIT HARD BY
EMI RESTRUCTURING
EMD, Virgin, Capitol Take Heavy Casualties
Today may have started with a macro announcement, but by this afternoon its impact was being experienced in a painfully micro way. At 9 a.m. London time, EMI Recorded Music chief Alain Levy went through the numbers in a press conference; a few hours later, those numbers were taking human shape 6,000 miles way.

In Beverly Hills, new Virgin America Chairman Matt Serletic sat in one room, accompanied by a rep from human resources, while label President Roy Lott and his HR person sat in another. Between them, Serletic and Lott will have seen every staffer at Virgin’s home office by the time this brutal task is complete, as they take the time to apprise each one of his/her status: "I’m afraid we have to let you go." "Unfortunately, you won’t be making the move to New York." "You still have a job." For the most part, people are glad to know, after months of abject uncertainty.

The cuts at Virgin were deep, and the same was true at EMD. At the distribbery’s Woodland Hills headquarters, staffers were also called in and told one by one whether they were still employed, and if not, how many weeks’ severance they’d be receiving. EMD is closing three of its nine branch offices around the U.S. and laying off its support staff (e.g., mailroom and staff assistants) in those offices; remaining employees who had been working out of the three branches will now work from home.

The bloodletting at Capitol, which went through a significant staff reduction last fall, was less severe but by no means insignificant, with many of the cuts impacting sales and marketing. Shared services is the order of the day, with the back-office staffs at Capitol and Virgin reportedly being cut in half as their functions are combined.

Meanwhile, back in London, EMI shares closed at 356p, a 3% increase from Tuesday.

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