About 60 people have been laid off at Whistler Blackcomb, following the $1.4-billion friendly takeover by Colorado-based Vail Resorts, which was finalized Oct. 17.
The layoffs are primarily in the IT, finance and marketing departments, and will take effect May 1 after the ski season.
Among those being released are senior VP of marketing and sales Stuart Rempel and chief financial officer Jeremy Black.
COO Dave Brownlie made the announcement on Nov. 16 in a letter to all WB employees.
"While these changes are not beginning until May 1, 2017, we are committed to being fully transparent and sharing information as soon as it's available," Brownlie wrote.
"Importantly, these changes were announced now to provide clarity of leadership and responsibility as we head into the fast-approaching 2016-2017 ski season and also to minimize any uncertainty that employees may have been feeling since the closing of the acquisition. We also wanted to provide anyone who may lose their job with plenty of opportunity to apply for a role at Vail Resorts — there are currently 43 openings in these departments across the Company, including eight here at the resort."
The layoffs are due to redundancies — the jobs affected are already being done at Vail's corporate office in Colorado.
Several positions will be moved around as a result of the layoffs: Karla Grenon, general manager of marketing, will oversee the Whistler Blackcomb brand, creative and content development and product marketing; Flora Ferraro, vice president of finance, will oversee all of the resort finance activities for Whistler Blackcomb; Ian Jenkins, general manager of sales, will take on a new role overseeing international sales efforts for all of Vail Resorts; and David Wilcox will take on the new role of senior manager of treasury and strategic development analyst for all of Vail Resorts.
There are no planned changes in other areas of resort operations including: mountain operations and maintenance, guest services, rental/retail, food and beverage, snow school or employee experience.
In an emailed statement, chairman and CEO of Vail Resorts Rob Katz said: "While organizational changes are an inevitable part of the combination of companies, we have done everything possible to minimize the number of impacted positions and employees and the impact that these changes will have on the entire Whistler Blackcomb team.
"We recognize how challenging changes can be for everyone involved, and we announced these changes to employees today to provide clarity of leadership and responsibility as we head into the winter season and to communicate the changes in a thoughtful, transparent manner. We look forward to Whistler Blackcomb's opening day and working together to create the Experience of a Lifetime for both our employees and guests this winter and for many winters to come."
In his letter Brownlie thanked Rempel and Black for their "years of passion and commitment" to the company.
"I am incredibly thankful for the years of Stuart's and Jeremy's significant contributions to this team, to this resort and to this industry and I know I speak for all of us when I wish them well in all they pursue," he wrote.
"I am also incredibly excited for the opportunity ahead for Karla, Flora, Ian and David to lead these respective teams going forward and to support the Company's growth and vision."
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