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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Thrivent to cut 500 employees

Thrivent Financial for Lutherans will reduce its 3,420-member staff by 500 between now and June 2004. The 3 million-member company suffered losses in product returns and investment income in 2002.

In a Feb. 11 memo to employees, CEO Bruce Nicholson and board chairman John Gilbert said Thrivent was reducing annual expenses by $100 million. Expenses will be trimmed through "various process-improvement initiatives and vendor management programs" as well as about 500 staff reductions through "attrition, retirement, and voluntary and involuntary reductions," the memo said. Affected employees will receive severance benefits, outplacement help and other support.

"Involuntarily reducing staff is always the last resort and never a welcome move," the memo states. "However, for us to integrate these two organizations in a way that effectively and efficiently serves our financial associates and members, we must cut our costs."


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