'We pulled every lever to protect jobs': Hill Holliday parts with 10% of total staff

Employees affected receive fully-paid healthcare benefits, including mental health, for three months, as well as outplacement and job referral services.

'We pulled every lever to protect jobs': Hill Holliday parts with 10% of total staff

Hill Holliday is reducing its total workforce by 10 percent as the IPG shop responds to the economic impact of COVID-19.

No more than 30 employees across Boston and New York were let go on Thursday, Campaign US understands. 

Chairman and CEO Karen Kaplan said the shop had done everything within its power to help safeguard jobs.

She explained: "As CEO my two most important job responsibilities are to protect our people and to protect our business. 

"We have instituted every cost saving measure and pulled every lever we had to protect jobs and protect our business: hiring freezes, travel bans, suspending the internship program, pausing freelance and overtime, deferring raises and promotions, we stopped spending on award shows, and the executive leadership team and I took pay cuts. And in retrospect, that turned out to be the easy part.

"We came to the difficult realization that we have to say goodbye to some really good people. These decisions were incredibly difficult but were made very thoughtfully and holistically in an effort to protect the most jobs possible and to best position the agency for the future. But even in tough times, Hill Holliday remains committed to taking care of our people."  

Employees who were affected will receive healthcare benefits, including mental health, that are fully paid by the agency for three months, according to people with knowledge of the matter. 

In addition, staff will be offered outplacement and job referral services at no cost to them.

The news comes after IPG CEO Michael Roth sent a memo to all agencies on Friday April 10 informing them that leaders will need to implement a number of cost-saving measures including staff reductions and salary cuts. Agencies are expected to make decisions this week.

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