Are you in good hands if you work for Allstate Corp.?
CEO Thomas Wilson said that employee morale is in "fine shape," during a conference call with investors, despite the fact that storm claims dragged down company earnings in the second quarter.
Recent events suggest otherwise. The Northbrook, Ill.-based company's home and auto-insurance chief was fired in May without explanation from the company. The Wall Street Journal reported that Joseph Lacher may have been fired for referring to Wilson as a "f--ing a--."
There's dissent over just what the context was when Lacher spoke the words to some of Allstate's top-selling -- and disgruntled -- sales agents at a bar. Earlier that day, Lacher and Wilson had spoken to about 2,000 agents and employees, presenting a plan that would change the company's commission structure and cut sales forces.
The company's roughly 11,000 sales agents are independent contractors, a company spokesperson said. Along with plans to reduce its sales teams, the company is boosting its direct-selling options. In May, Allstate announced a deal to buy Esurance, an online insurance-selling platform. (WSJ)
In An Age of Layoffs, Some See Raises (FINS)
The average raise will be 3% this year, says a new survey. That's less than the current inflation rate of 3.6%. For tech workers and accountants, pay bumps may be higher.
Using LinkedIn Apps (Mashable)
Free LinkedIn apps can be useful tools for salespeople. The TripIt app, for example, will automatically inform your leads and other connections when you'll be in town.
Online Retailing Tax (Retailing Today)
Online retailers are one step closer to being required to charge sales tax, with pending legislation called the Main Street Fairness Act.
Red Robin Appoints New CMO (MarketWatch)
The burger chain appointed longtime food marketer Denny Marie Post as senior vice president and CMO, the company said. Red Robin's ad budget totaled $6.7 million in the first quarter of 2011, according to Kantar Media.
Tapping Into China's Online Video Market (McKinsey)
McKinsey research shows that 700 million people in China will be watching online video by 2015. Sites that spend money to increase their bandwidth, bring on experienced advertising salespeople and put money toward content will be the ones to profit from the growth.
Can the Ad Industry Self-Regulate? (DMNews)
A study from Stanford University inspires doubt that agencies are following policies for protecting customers' privacy. Six online ad agencies, including 24/7 Media, Audience Science and Wall Street on Demand, violated their own rules about tracking customers who made opt-out requests.
Buzz Around the Office
A Feat of Precision
When dominos meets bar-tending.
List of the Day: How To Find a New Career
1. Ask yourself key questions. Do you want to be in an office? What are your feelings about cubicles?
2. Try career exploration sites, like Inside Jobs, to learn more about different professions.
3. Get off the beaten path and consider something new.
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