Barron’s boss accidentally announces buyout, layoffs via ‘Reply all’

© Shannon Stapleton
“Reply all” can wreak havoc on an email inbox. But the executives at Barron’s were in for a fresh hell when one wrong “Reply all” accidentally informed their staff of an upcoming wave of layoffs.

Employees at the financial news magazine Barron’s were informed that their jobs were at risk due to layoffs when company president Ed Finn notified them in an email on Friday. However, Finn did not exactly mean to tell his employees. In fact, he was just trying to forward a message to another executive.

The Dow Jones’ media companies, the Wall Street Journal and Barron’s, are two heavy hitters when it comes to financial and investment news. However, on Friday, the Wall Street Journal announced that it wanted a “substantial number” of employees to take buyouts in lieu of involuntary layoffs, Politico reported.

Wall Street Journal employees received an email on Friday from editor-in-chief Gerard Baker, notifying them that the company was looking for people to consider buyouts at 1.5 times the standard buyout package.

It seems that Barron’s employees will not be so lucky, as many of them received the Wall Street Journal’s announcement along with a note from Finn:

The email Gerry Baker just sent about wsj buyouts says that dj is offering 1.5x the standard buyout package. Are we planning to go to the employees we are laying off at Barron’s next week and offer them 1x the standard package. That could create some problems. Please advise.

Finn told Politico that he had meant to forward the email to Dow Jones Media Group publisher Almar Latour and two other executives to discuss how the Wall Street Journal layoffs would affect Barron’s. But with one wrong click, the email was sent to the Journal’s newsroom.

"That was not intentional. It was a mistake. We had not been told what package was being offered to the several Barron's folks who would be laid off next week," Finn told Politico.