Morning Brief: Corporate Executive Board Makes Cuts

Washington area companies are not immune to the recession. The Corporate Executive Board of Arlington is planning to cut or change about a fifth of the research products and services it provides to businesses, which will mean an undetermined number of layoffs, the company's chief executive told staff in a video blog late last week.

The recession has battered many of the corporate clients that pay for the Executive Board's products through memberships, Thomas L. Monahan III said in the video, which was posted on his blog last Friday and obtained by The Washington Post this week.

"When a Washington Mutual or a Lehman Brothers goes through a substantial business realignment or disappears entirely, it often takes with them a number of memberships," Monahan said. "When a member executive loses his or her job, we often find that it is difficult to immediately engage his or her successor, if there is even a successor."

Tracey Reina, a spokeswoman for the company, declined to comment on plans, citing a quiet period before the firm reports financial results for the year Thursday. Employees and former employees who spoke on condition of anonymity said that the company had scheduled meetings throughout this week to discuss details.

Other Washington companies are not immune to the pressure companies are facing over executive pay. Lockheed Martin and Capital One Financial, have altered their executive compensation plans amid increasing public fury over large Wall Street bonuses.

Defense contractor Lockheed Martin of Bethesda said it is raising chief executive Robert J. Stevens's target bonus and giving special stock awards to five executive vice presidents -- a move criticized by some as insensitive to the dire economic situation faced by Main Street.

At Capital One of McLean, Richard D. Fairbank, chairman and chief executive, won't be collecting a paycheck until the credit card giant reimburses taxpayers for the government bailout money, the company said yesterday.

Lockheed Martin's Stevens requested that he receive no increase in base salary for 2009. But under the amended plan, his target bonus -- subject to certain performance measures -- will increase to 150 percent from 125 percent of base salary; the maximum bonus he can receive is 293 percent of his salary. Stevens got $1.6 million in salary and $3.9 million in bonuses in 2007, according to Lockheed's most recent proxy statement.

In housing news, Freddie Mac announced a pilot program on Tuesday targeting 5,000 delinquent borrowers who have high-risk mortgages.

Under the program, Freddie Mac will pay an outside company to launch an intensified effort to reach a subset of homeowners who have missed two mortgage payments.

The program will attempt to speed the homeowners through the loan-modification process, which could include lowering their interest rate or extending the terms of their loan.

By Alejandro Lazo  |  February 4, 2009; 9:19 AM ET  | Category:  Capital One , Economy Watch , Freddie Mac , Morning Brief
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Please email us to report offensive comments.

Good for Rich Fairbank and Capital One.

Posted by: elizabethbw | February 6, 2009 2:18 PM

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