January 28, 2023
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When the chord changes – Guitar Center tells its layoff story


Firings hurt.

They can throw an employee’s life into disarray, especially when the job market is already tight during a downturn. And most managers feel a heavy burden when they carry out cuts.

“The hardest thing you do as a manager is fire somebody who doesn’t deserve it — in other words, someone who hasn’t done anything wrong, either from a performance perspective of or a policy perspective,” said Leland Smith, chief administrative officer and general counsel of Westlake Village-based Guitar Center. “The object is to treat that person with the same kind of compassion you would want to see if it happened to you.”

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