Mar 29, 2022 - Business

Report: Hy-Vee CEO criticized laid-off employees

The inside of the new Grimes Hy-Vee
The produce section of the Grimes Hy-Vee. Photo by: Linh Ta/Axios

In an internal video to employees, Hy-Vee CEO Randy Edeker shared details about the company's corporate layoffs last week from its headquarters and Grimes technology center.

What's happening: Edeker said that he is "offended" that many declined offers to work in grocery stores as store managers instead.

  • "Our retail stores are the heart of Hy-Vee, and some people just simply see it being beneath them to work at the retail stores. I think it's crazy, and I think that it's offensive," Edeker said in a video the Register reviewed.

Yes, but: Recently laid-off employees told the Register they were not offered store manager positions.

  • Plus: Tina Potthoff, a Hy-Vee spokesperson who was also in the video, acknowledged that some of the offered retail positions were not at the same wage, in a previous interview with Axios.

The big picture: This isn't the first time Edeker's messaging to employees regarding layoffs has hit less sympathetic notes.

  • When the company laid off hundreds of Iowa employees during restructuring in 2020, Edeker sent a letter to employees, which was shared with Axios.
  • In the letter, Edeker referenced "'Burn the Ships' posters hanging throughout our offices and backrooms of our stores," which he said symbolizes the importance of moving forward and not looking back.

Read more: Hy-Vee CEO says, 'This office does nothing,' after laying off more than 100 corporate workers (๐Ÿ”’)

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