Friday, October 19, 2007

K. Hovnanian Layoff Email From CEO - More Homebuilding Industry Layoffs

I found this on paper-money. It is an email from the K. Hovnanian CEO to his employees written earlier this month. ( was actually from last year....but um, who cares. K Hovnaian is really a trendsetter. Times are even worse now...need me to grab another memo for ya "strong"? Unfortunately, other homebuilding CEO's are preparing to write the same letters. So many in the industry have been layed off due to the greed of big builders. Private and public homebuilders alike continue to layoff staff at an alarming rate. I think at this rate K-Fed's rap career is more promising than K-Hov's future.

MEMORANDUM TO: All Associates
FROM: Ara K. Hovnanian
DATE: October 3, 2006

Fellow Associates,
A few months ago I wrote to you about the changing market conditions in our industry and our concerns about how long the downturn in homebuilding may last. Since that time, the market has slowed further still, representing one of the steepest declines in new home sales in our memory. Most of our markets have been affected, some severely. At this point, we are preparing for a long period of slower sales, at least through 2007 and perhaps beyond.

What does this mean for you and for our Company? These new market conditions have affected us in many ways and will continue to affect us in the months ahead. In the area of land acquisition we have been re-evaluating our current land positions and the contracts for new land in the light of these new conditions (Land Folks are half the reason for the new decline...although ultimately the builder executives approved the bad deals). Many of those contracts no longer make good financial sense when you factor in lower prices and a slower sales pace. In cases where we have been unable to renegotiate these contracts with more favorable terms, we are canceling them, at times forfeiting our deposit monies.

We continue to work on ways to reduce costs. We have also had to make adjustments to our pricing in order to make sales, either through added features, free options, waived premiums or outright base price reductions. In a market where our competitors are making dramatic pricing concessions, we must make similar adjustments in order to remain competitive. Obviously, this has a significant impact on our profits on those homes that we sell at a discount. The most difficult adjustment we have had to make to the changing market is in the area of staffing.

In many locations, including corporate headquarters, we have been forced to face the fact that we no longer have enough work for all of our Associates. We were hoping that normal attrition and a reduction in new hires would prevent us from needing to take further action. Those steps helped, but did not solve the problem of having too little work for our entire team. As a result, we have had to make staff reductions.

We consider this action to be a last resort, but business realities demand action in order for our Company to remain healthy and to maximize our performance in a difficult market environment.


strong said...

are you kidding?? your "big find" was written over a year ago. check the date of the memo ...

Homebuilders Suck said... are right....but suck it hard...this blog wasn't written for you.