Westgate Resorts CEO David Siegel came under fire this week for sending an email to his employees demanding that they vote for Mitt Romney and threatening to downsize the company if they don't. But Siegel's email isn't an outlier. It fits a pattern of imperious CEOs attempting to marshal the support of their employees in pursuit of their own political interests.
Up w/ Chris Hayes has exclusively obtained an email sent by the CEO of a Florida-based software firm, ASG Software Solutions, to his over 1,000 employees asking them to vote for Romney for president and suggesting that their jobs may be at stake if Romney doesn't win. The subject line of the email, sent by ASG President and CEO Arthur Allen on Sept. 30, asks: "Will the US Presidential election directly impact your future jobs at ASG? Please read below."
Allen then suggests that the company may have to downsize, or be bought by a larger company, if President Obama is re-elected, and suggests that massive cuts and layoffs would ensue if that occurs.
"We have been able to keep ASG an independent company while still growing our revenues and customers. But I can tell you, if the US re-elects President Obama, our chances of staying independent are slim to none," Allen writes. "If we fail as a nation to make the right choice on November 6th, and we lose our independence as a company, I don't want to hear any complaints regarding the fallout that will most likely come.
Allen adds: "I am asking you to give us one more chance to stay independent by voting in a new President and administration on November 6th. Even then, we still might not be able to remain independent, but it will at least give us a chance. If we don't, that chance goes away."
Up w/ Chris attempted to contact Allen several times via phone and email during business hours on Friday. His outgoing message said he was out of the country, so Up w/ Chris also placed calls and sent emails to several other officials at ASG during business hours on Friday as well. We have not received a response.
Here's the full text of Allen's email:
Subject: Will the US Presidential election directly impact your future jobs at ASG? Please read below.To all ASG employees,We have been stuck in an extremely sick global economy, but as we should all know by now, the global economy largely depends on the US economy. This sick global economy has been negatively influencing ASG since December 2008. No one could have ever have dreamed that the US economy would still be sick 4 years later, but it is. We have a chance, as individuals, to help turn the sick US economy into a healthy economy, and positively influence the global economy as well. This chance comes on November 6th, when we elect a new President and administration. The US and the world need to elect individuals who have business experience. Neither the world nor the US can stand to elect politicians any longer. In my view, and in the view of most business leaders, if you give politicians 100 questions, they will give you back 100 wrong answers simply because they have no basis for making those decisions. Would you hire a person with no experience to do brain surgery? Of course not, but that's what the US voters did in 2009. Why does the world keep hiring politicians to run our global economies when they have no experience? It just makes no sense, and yet the world keeps doing it over and over again. Let's take the lead on November 6th and show the world how it should and can be done.Many of you have been with ASG for over 5, 10, 15, and even 20 years. As you know, together, we have been able to keep ASG an independent company while still growing our revenues and customers. But I can tell you, if the US re-elects President Obama, our chances of staying independent are slim to none. I am already heavily involved in considering options that make our independence go away, and with that all of our lives would change forever. I believe that a new President and administration would give US citizens and the world the renewed confidence and optimism we all need to get the global economies started again, and give ASG a chance to stay independent. If we fail as a nation to make the right choice on November 6th, and we lose our independence as a company, I don't want to hear any complaints regarding the fallout that will most likely come. Remember, in the world of business, companies are consolidators or they get consolidated; so far ASG has been a consolidator, completing over 60 acquisitions in our 26 year history. When we buy a company, we eliminate about 60 percent of the salaries of the employees of that company. If we lose our independence and get consolidated, the same thing would happen to ASG's employees.I am asking you to give us one more chance to stay independent by voting in a new President and administration on November 6th. Even then, we still might not be able to remain independent, but it will at least give us a chance. If we don't, that chance goes away.I apologize for writing such a blunt email, but for those of you who have known me for years and years, you know that this must be serious, and it is. I am going to follow this email with an email to All Sales, offering all of our help to assist them in making Q4 the best quarter in ASG history. Business is hard to find, but it is out there if Sales just goes and gets it.Mr. Allen