Signify executives take 20% pay cut, ask same of employees (UPDATED)

April 3, 2020
Employees would also shed some workload. Voluntary move lasts for the second quarter worldwide, as the company also freezes pay raises and hiring in response to coronavirus pandemic.

In its ongoing adjustments amid the coronavirus pandemic, Signify’s leadership and supervisory boards are taking a 20% pay reduction for three months, and the company has asked employees worldwide to do the same while also reducing employee workload by the same amount. Executives will continue to work at full speed.

The measures started on Apr. 1, and run through the end of June. The Eindhoven, Holland-based company has also delayed merit pay increases until Oct. 1, and has implemented a hiring freeze until further notice.

The company had 32,005 employees at the end of last year, and is believed to have more than that now after closing the acquisition of Eaton’s Cooper Lighting Solutions. It remains to be seen how the voluntary pay cuts might square with the various government aid measures that countries have taken.

“What we have internally announced this week is a call for solidarity and unity among all our employees,” a Signify spokesperson told LEDs Magazine. “The COVID-19 pandemic has created an unprecedented situation globally and from the outset, we have taken considerable action focused on the health, safety and wellbeing of our employees, customers, partners, and people around us. It is essential to ensure business continuity and anticipate potential disruptions in market demand. Many companies are taking measures, all in their own ways.”

Other actions by the world’s largest lighting company have included withdrawing its financial guidance for 2020 and declining to participate in the rescheduled Light + Building exhibition, which organizers had moved from March until September. It also implemented a 3% price increase to help offset supply chain contortions.

Signify provided a glimmer of normalcy recently when it started reopening factories in China, the country where COVID-19 originated.

“At Signify, we are convinced that, as a socially responsible company, we must protect the jobs of our employees during these very uncertain times.” the spokesperson said. “At the same time, we need to temporarily reduce our costs in order to deal with these exceptional times.”

MARK HALPER is a contributing editor for LEDs Magazine, and an energy, technology, and business journalist ([email protected]).

*Updated Apr. 3, 2020 1:40 PM for additional Signify clarification.

About the Author

Mark Halper | Contributing Editor, LEDs Magazine, and Business/Energy/Technology Journalist

Mark Halper is a freelance business, technology, and science journalist who covers everything from media moguls to subatomic particles. Halper has written from locations around the world for TIME Magazine, Fortune, Forbes, the New York Times, the Financial Times, the Guardian, CBS, Wired, and many others. A US citizen living in Britain, he cut his journalism teeth cutting and pasting copy for an English-language daily newspaper in Mexico City. Halper has a BA in history from Cornell University.