RR Donnelley Lays Off 85 Former Banta Staffers
In the first major move since announcing its triumvirate of recent acquisitions, RR Donnelley officially eliminated 85 jobs at Banta Corp., headquartered in Menasha, Wis., according to a local Wisconsin newspaper. The job cuts come on the heels of a $1.3 billion merger deal completed by Donnelley and Banta on Jan. 9.
The Appleton Post-Crescent reported that Donnelley made the layoffs official in a letter to Wisconsin’s Department of Workforce Development on Jan. 19 and that the reductions reached into the upper levels of Banta’s management.
“We recognize that this news is disappointing, and while we deeply regret having to proceed with this reduction in force, we believe this is a necessary business decision,” wrote Lorien Gallo, Donnelley’s group executive vice president of human resources, in the letter obtained by the Post-Crescent.
The first layoffs are expected to begin around March 23, and those affected will be offered severance packages.
Dave Mead, 19-year Banta veteran and the company’s group senior vice president of sales, told Publishing Executive he has been impressed with Donnelley’s handling of the takeover process.
“The integration process is a huge task, as you would expect, but RR Donnelley management have been open, professional, dignified and empathetic with our team in their approach to the process,” he said. “They have spent long hours in making sure they understand our processes, capabilities and employee talents in their decision-making process. … Although there will ultimately be disappointments for long-term, quality people in the combined organization due to the ultimate and necessary elimination of positions, I believe those impacted will understand the decisions and feel they were fairly treated.”
Mead emphasized that the majority of the 85 job cuts were from Banta’s corporate group and that the company’s new sales and marketing structure has yet to be disclosed.
“Obviously, there is major overlap in the sales forces, customers served and administrative functions that has to be remedied by them going forward,” he said. “… The operating units are a different matter. We have to service our customers without interruption and with the dependability they have come to expect. Everyone in the combined companies is united in that focus.”