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Rockwell workers take six unpaid days as CEO takes 20% pay cut
Published:  02 April, 2009

Rockwell Automation’s chief executive Keith Nosbusch (below) is taking a 20% pay cut and is asking the company’s 21,000 workers to take six days of unpaid leave during the remainder of the company’s financial year that ends in September.


The company is also suspending its payments into its US employees’ retirement plans and is unlikely to pay any bonuses this year, in an attempt to cut its operating costs by $240m by the end of its financial year.

The three unpaid days of leave that Rockwell employees are being asked to take in each the last two quarters of the 2009 financial year are equivalent to a 4.6% reduction in their base salaries. The company says it will decide whether to continue this approach into the next financial year, when it gets closer to the end of this one.

“We`re trying to protect as many jobs as possible and we want to treat employees across the globe consistently while complying with their country`s laws,” says John Bernaden, Rockwell’s director of external communications. He adds that while the company’s bonus programmes will remain in operation, they are unlikely to hit the targets that would result in payouts.

In November 2008, Nosbusch predicted a 6–10% decline in sales during the 2009 financial year but, in February this year, he revised this prediction downwards to 19–24%.

In an e-mail to the company`s global workforce on 30 March, Nosbusch said that “no employee in the organisation is exempt from sacrifice. I want you to know my salary will be cut by 20%.” Last year, Nosbusch received a pay package worth $7.6m, including a $1m base salary, $2m in shares, and $2.3m in options.

The company in September said it would lay off about 600 people. Since then there have been additional layoffs.

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