DETROIT - The perks of power are disappearing at Federal-Mogul Corp.
The corporate halls, once decorated with Oriental wedding dresses, Andy Warhol silk screens and Native American ceremonial items, are becoming decidedly plebeian as the Southfield, Mich., company recasts itself.
A new corporate frugality now accompanies Federal-Mogul's streamlining. It even reaches into Chairman and CEO Richard Snell's office. Gone is his company car and driver, his company condo in Florida and other corporate indulgences. For Snell and top managers, the goal is to slim down, literally and figuratively.
Recently, Snell and his management team completed an eight-week campaign to each lose two pounds a week in the 'Dump the Plump' program.
NO SACRED COWS
The effort to refocus Federal-Mogul as a lean, global manufacturer bent on raising profit margins means sacrifice, said spokeswoman Kim Welch. 'There are no sacred cows. Dick Snell was not about to say one thing and then drive off with a car and driver.'
Snell is trying to restore Federal-Mogul as a key manufacturer for the automotive and other sectors. Changing course means shedding 132 foreign retail automotive parts stores and distribution units and consolidating other underperforming units. The restructuring will lead to job losses for 2,900 employees this year.
The next two years are expected to be a test of whether Federal-Mogul can regain its profitability and status among suppliers to the Big 3.
The 'lean and mean' strategy starts with executives, Welch said. Federal-Mogul's condo in Ocean Reef, Fla., was sold earlier this year. Executives can no longer get their cars washed and gassed by a company employee, for which they paid a fee, she said.
AID FOR KENTUCKY
Snell's bid to streamline executive waistlines resulted in fines for those unable to lose at least two pounds per week. The two-month program for 37 executives collected $3,680, which was matched by the company and turned over to the Maysville Relief Fund. It was set up for Federal-Mogul's Maysville, Ky., employees who lost their homes in the recent Ohio River flood.
Company teamwork is the key to remaking Federal-Mogul, said Welch. In the place of artifacts, prints and textiles, the company is gracing its walls with 'people art.' Photographs from company annual reports and other sources that depict Federal-Mogul employees at work are now in vogue.