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Rating:USA Today Puts Putnam Culture In Its Spotlight Not Rated 5.0 Email Routing List Email & Route  Print Print
Thursday, April 15, 2004

USA Today Puts Putnam Culture In Its Spotlight

by: Theresa Sim

Few will be surprised by USA Today's take away on life under ex-Putnam CEO Lawrence Lasser. The paper reports that Lasser cultivated a culture of arrogance, hierarchy, bureaucracy, carelessness and stubbornness, according to an USA Today article running on the front page of Thursday's Money section.

This was a culture that some employees embraced in the years of the bull market, and one that new CEO, Charles Haldeman is trying to undo, writes USA Today reporter Christine Dugas.

The article describes some of Lasserís practices, including: creating distance between himself and clients and employees alike, providing a gratis dining room for executives only, publicly rebuking poor performers, encouraging managers to produce short-term gains and rewarding executives lavishly.

In addition, Putnam executives responded to compelling information -- whether regarding employee market timing, a consultantís suggested cost-cutting measures, or in one case, evidence of the firmís careless record keeping -- with obstinate inaction.

Trying to reverse years of these practices, Haldeman opened the executive dining room to everyone, increased access to himself, and is working to reduce bureaucracy, said the article.

"I think people here are determined to prove that we can once again be a truly great company," the article reported Haldeman as saying. 

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