CEO to Employees: If Obama Wins, You're Fired!
David Siegel isn't exactly telling his employees who to vote for. He's just telling them who to vote against.
The Westgate Resorts CEO emailed every one of his 7,000 employees on Monday, warning them that their employment situation might change if a certain incumbent wins the election.
“The economy doesn't currently pose a threat to your job. What does threaten your job however, is another 4 years of the same Presidential administration,” he said in the e-mail.
“If any new taxes are levied on me, or my company, as our current President plans, I will have no choice but to reduce the size of this company,” he says in the nearly 1,400-word e-mail. “Rather than grow this company I will be forced to cut back. This means fewer jobs, less benefits and certainly less opportunity for everyone.”
He didn't actually say, “vote for Romney.” In fact, he didn't mention Romney's name at all. And when interviewed later, he maintained that he was not threatening his employees' jobs.
His reasoning, according to CNNMoney, was to let his employees “know what the situation is, and not listen to campaign commercials but hear it from the horse's mouth.”
And yet he also admitted that his letter based on an anti-Obama letter from the 2008 election. He edited it and added his own personal story – but it doesn't seem like he's providing unbiased facts, either.
Siegel's financial situation has received much criticism. He and his wife are the subject of a new documentary, “The Queen of Versailles”, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival this year and follows their story in building a 90,000-square foot home.
Construction on the lavish home (some may prefer the term “castle”) had to be halted during the financial crisis, and though it's now back under construction, Siegel and his wife Jackie plan to sell it.
His company also took a hit during the crisis in 2008. Before the crash, his resort chain employed 12,000 and brought in $1 billion in revenue. But revenue was cut in half and employment nosedived to 5,000 at the worst point.
Since then, he has been hiring. The company hasn't fully recovered, but it's in the process. But what Siegel claims to worry about is tax hikes on the rich and Obamacare.
He defends his own financial situation in the email:
“What most people see is the nice house and the lavish lifestyle. What the press certainly does not want you to see, is the true story of the hard work and sacrifices I've made. Now, the economy is falling apart and people like me who made all the right decisions and invested in themselves are being forced to bail out all the people who didn't...We are being taxed to death and the government thinks we don't pay enough.”
As much as he claims his own goodwill and desire to present his employees with the truth drove him to write the email, it still draws questions. First off, his decision to base it on an anti-Obama letter rather than draft a new letter himself is some cause to raise eyebrows.
And secondly, he still directly addresses the employment of his staff in relation to which candidate is elected. Sure, it's not a threat.
A "warning" might be more accurate.+16
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