There was a silence deep as death;
And the boldest held his breath,
For a time. — Thomas Campbell

Fletcher and the board are not spending all their energy staring down the barbarians.Prior to the release of the poorly received five-year strategic plan, a review found that Coles’s administration was 25-30% fatter than comparable retailers elsewhere in the world.

Coles Myer announced yesterday that 25 senior management roles will be abolished, a portent of a 17% cut in senior management positions. Duplications across Marketing, HR, Property and Finance will be culled or undergo big changes.

Coles spinner Scott Whiffin said managers whose role will undergo major change (either abolished or more than 30%) will be given the opportunity to apply for a new function. We suspect many will also be calling their favourite head hunter and scouring the papers for a new gig.

The uncertainty will further damage morale and is an example of the ham fisted way that Coles can manage people issues. Get an announcement out that might impress the market — but leave the people it affects in the dark.

… it is a good thing to kill an admiral from time to time to encourage the others. — Voltaire