Boss Axes Jobs and Own Salary

18 January 2001

Two hundred and seventy-five jobs across Europe are to go at online classified advertising company, along with the closure of fifteen websites.

Play it again Sam?

Well, there is just one rather unusual feature – chief executive John MacBain is not letting himself off lightly either! He is leading the cost-cutting drive at the Paris-based company by paying himself zero salary for the next two years – and foregoing all share options for the same period, the latter alone saving around 4.6 million euros.

Says MacBain: "Since my long-term wealth is based on the value of shares I own ... I wanted to send a message to investors that I am looking to make money in the same way they do."

Trader, which owns a series of classified titles, among them La Centrale and Auto Trader, in eighteen countries, aims to reposition itself as a traditional content provider, eschewing its former strategy of internet growth and instead using the web as a channel to reach more customers and offer a better service.

To achieve this it will concentrate on its core car and property markets, while withdrawing from other sectors such as boats and luxury goods.

News source: Financial Times