Personnel: Outplacing the Dehired

The job that executives have always hated most is firing fellow executives. It is a task that top managements increasingly face as the business downturn and profit squeeze make superfluous executives an insupportable luxury. In July, unemployment among professional and managerial employees rose to 394,000—up 74% from a year earlier. Now, though, a method has been developed to take some of the sting and embarrassment out of executive firing. Instead of simply bouncing a subordinate, the boss can send him to a firm that specializes in helping unwanted executives to find new jobs. The practitioners have even coined a euphemistic...

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