One vp to rule us all

It seems like only a week ago President Hubert was declaring war against wastefulness at the CBC, like Eliott Ness going after Al Capone:

In other words, if it’s discretionary, it’s gone. If it’s anything less than a bona fide requirement, it’s gone. If it’s not absolutely strategic, it’s gone.

Well, that was last week. War is over.

The CBC’s newest vice-president was announced rather quietly in IO! and heralds the end of our hiring freeze. She’s Katya Laviolette and will become CBC’s Vice-President of People and Culture on January 5, 2009.

Apparently it’s a bona fide requirement and absolutely strategic to have another 6-figure manager to hire more managers to manage other managers. Reporters in London and Beijing? Sorry, no money for that. Evan Solomon? What has he done for us lately?

Hubert explains:

Katya will be based in Montreal and will report directly to me. She’ll be charged with renewing and improving the internal culture and delivering our people-related services throughout the Corporation, ensuring that we value the contribution of our people, provide better opportunities for training and development, and rebuild relationships.

She’s got a lot of important work to tackle, but based on her qualifications and her broad executive experience in human resources, organisational development and industrial relations, I’m sure she’s ready for it! Katya comes to CBC/Radio-Canada from Alcan Global Pharmaceutical Packaging where she was Vice-President, Human Resources, and was responsible for the company’s strategy to build, measure and sustain organisational effectiveness. For more on Katya,

You wouldn’t know it from reading this, but in the baroque world of CBC upper management, the appointment is a slight to George Smith, Lord of Darkness and Inhumane Resources. This is the only bright spot in what is clearly a case of flushing money down the toilet.

What does working at Alcan have to do with broadcasting, besides making plastic and aluminum foil thingies to hold pills which may or may not get mixed up in Russia?

And Vice President, People and Culture? VPPC? Every CBC hating blogger will latch on to this as Vice President, Political Correctness.

Of course, if she really is a people person, she will likely be back in the aluminmum plant faster than you can say “John Cruickshank” after her first run-in with King Richard.

Welcome aboard, Katya. If you’re fixing to improve the CBC’s internal culture, there are only 2 websites you need.

This one and www.monster.ca.

19 comments:

  1. Anonymous
    Posted December 2, 2008 at 8:23 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    And have you seen the case study of the Queen's University (Kingston) MBA school on our new dear Katya's broom sweeping at the (troubled) Transcontinental Media HQ? [ Transcontinental Inc.(on TSX: TCL A, TCL B) ]

    Just as with Quebec based Transcontinental,
    so too will LaFrance rule the CBC with an
    Radio-Canada iron fist.

    http://irc.queensu.ca/resources/case-studies/css-evolving-toward-hr-partner.pdf
    or
    http://74.125.47.132/custom?q=cache:Y0yoNHDMoAkJ:irc.queensu.ca/resources/case-studies/css-evolving-toward-hr-partner.pdf+Katya+Laviolette&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=1&client=pub-8392726761634214

    ….For Katya Laviolette, who was hired in
    May 2003 as Vice-President, Human
    Resources at Transcontinental Media, two
    things became apparent in her first
    months of leadership. First, the organiza-
    tion had grown too large to maintain a
    fragmented approach to HR. In order to
    continue growing, acquiring and success-
    fully integrating, the culture needed to
    shift from that of a collection of small
    businesses to a unified publishing com-
    pany. Second, the future of the business
    would depend on superior human capi-
    tal. Transcontinental Media’™s HR organi-
    zation would need to become a world-
    class partner to the business in order to
    attract, develop and support talent. This
    would mean expanding and growing the
    responsibilities of the HR professionals
    from a focus on the technical aspects of
    HR (recruitment, compensation and
    employee relations) to include the more
    strategic aspects of HR (change manage-
    ment, communications, organizational
    and leadership development). The HR
    organization decided to use the following
    model by David Ulrich as a framework to
    explain the vision of HR and make expli-
    cit the changes required in the role of HR
    professionals in supporting and achieving
    the organization’™s vision and objective….more

    Does Hubert play squash as well?
    http://www.squash.qc.ca/Kornitzer.htm

  2. Anonymous
    Posted December 2, 2008 at 5:44 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    I love this website. It reminds me of how happy I was when I left the CBC.

  3. Anonymous
    Posted December 2, 2008 at 4:02 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    The announcement of the VP of People and Culture position will be followed by news of massive layoffs or worse. At a time when the CBC is operating at a deficit due to rapidly declining revenues the creation of the new VP of Political Correctness is not designed as a distraction but rather as a strategy for the CBC to evolve into an irrelevant nonentity with minimal staff and resources. As if George “the Prince of Darkness” Smith would ever allow someone to fix his dysfunctional empire which he worked so very hard to create. No, the VP of People and Culture has arrived to accelerate the process.

  4. Anonymous
    Posted December 2, 2008 at 11:54 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    This looks like an utterly suicidal job position.

    In order to be successful, she will have to step on the toes of other VPs, particularly Stursberg. So they’ll be forced to get rid of her.

    If she doesn’t step on anyone else’s toes, she’s obviously not doing her job, so they’ll be forced to get rid of her.

    She’s toast either way.

  5. Anonymous
    Posted December 2, 2008 at 7:24 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    So, last week….there’s a note informing of the looming crunch that is affecting all broadcasters including the CBC and workers fear possible layoffs. Then, this week….at the CBC….a new VP!! WTF!! And, could someone please tell me what a “VP of People and Culture” actually does?!?! What is next at the CBC – a “VP of reusable cups”….”a VP of tape dispensers”….?? Has the CBC turned into a Circus?? Because there sure are a lot of clowns!!

  6. Anonymous
    Posted December 1, 2008 at 10:15 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    If Fake Ouimet is right that the CBC “actually does need somebody in senior management whose entire job, verbally disguised though it may be, is to rid the place of its poisoned work environment,” wouldn’t a good first step be to RID THE PLACE OF some of the people who CREATED the poisoned work environment in the first place? Only THEN would such a move have a chance of being accepted at face value.

    How is it that the CBC always manages to beat the law of averages and can’t even STUMBLE into hiring competent senior executives?

  7. Anonymous
    Posted December 1, 2008 at 8:03 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    $50 bucks sez she’s running from the Corp.
    in six months or earlier (in tears, pulling
    her hair out and hysterical). Any takers?

  8. Anonymous
    Posted December 1, 2008 at 1:59 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Awaiting justification for such an expenditure…
    Still waiting…

  9. Anonymous
    Posted December 1, 2008 at 1:39 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    How can she do her job from Montreal when most of the ‘problem’ is in Toronto???

  10. Anonymous
    Posted December 1, 2008 at 12:10 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    I find it comical that DMcG spent the better part of three days being the Teamakers most active contributor, explaining that this blog’s direction, it’s writers, commenters and readers are losers and malcontents.

    The punchline? When he shows us how it should be done on his own blog, be basically copies and pastes a Teamakers post whole hog
    http://heywriterboy.blogspot.com/2008/12/cbcs-need.html

    The rimshot? The first comment compares working at the CBC with geting a migraine.

    Ah, so that’s how you do it?

  11. Fake Ouimet
    Posted December 1, 2008 at 11:07 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    I hate to be the contrarian here (truly I hate it), but the Corpse actually does need somebody in senior management whose entire job, verbally disguised though it may be, is to rid the place of its poisoned work environment. Of course her hiring is a betrayal of what were claimed to be across-the-board budget-cutting measures and of course she’™ll have all sorts of trouble actually shitcanning abusive managers and peons, but nothing was happening before and something might actually happen now.

    Incidentally, why is it always wymmynz who take on these peacekeeper roles? And won’™t she be eaten for breakfast by ballbusting manager dudes?

  12. Anonymous
    Posted December 1, 2008 at 10:51 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Don’t worry, she’ll be around for the usual six to seven months before she heads off to another rainmaker gig at some completely different business, leaving the predictable path of destruction in her wake. What a damn joke.

  13. Anonymous
    Posted December 1, 2008 at 10:35 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    DMc, there are wolves. The pack just got larger by one.

  14. Anonymous
    Posted December 1, 2008 at 9:18 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    “In other words, if it’s discretionary, it’s gone. If it’s anything less than a bona fide requirement, it’s gone. If it’s not absolutely strategic, it’s gone. Expect to hear more from your management teams shortly on what’s in and what’s out, and guidelines to that effect.”

    I guess we’ve heard.

  15. DMc
    Posted December 1, 2008 at 9:16 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Nope. Optically, that move’s right up there with Harper’s economic statement. But on the blog that cried wolf, it’s just one more fuming point. Kind of dulls the impact, Anonymous.

    If that is your real name.

  16. Anonymous
    Posted December 1, 2008 at 8:26 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Seriously…I’m not even surprised with this crap anymore.
    We all fear for our jobs but don’t worry,we have lots of vice presidents.

  17. Anonymous
    Posted December 1, 2008 at 7:45 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    I’m trying not be cynical and despair over this. Can DMc do some positive spin on it for everyone?

  18. Anonymous
    Posted December 1, 2008 at 7:30 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    There go what few little shreds of credibility Hubert had. What a disgrace the CBC has become.

  19. Anonymous
    Posted December 1, 2008 at 7:14 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Uh, does that mean Radio can get its Vice President back?

    Bullshit like HR and “people” can get dedicated VPs, but not a core service like Radio?? WTF?


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