SNEWS has been getting avalanched with emailed tips since just before Christmas about impending layoffs at WaterMark -- up to 150 by most counts.
Hearing rumors surrounding WaterMark and Confluence are certainly not uncharted waters for SNEWS, but the number of emails and quality of detail provided by those emails to us from fairly credible sources was, certainly, strong enough that the issue demanded resolution.
In the interest of separating fact from fiction, we jumped on the phone to chat with our friend and company executive vice president, Joe Pulliam.
The word? A few folks had been let go over the course of the fall in 2002 because of reorganization of departments and a resulting duplication of efforts that are natural when two companies combine (WaterMark and Yakima). There were no massive layoffs in the works, period!
What of the rumor about hundreds getting pink slips for Jan. 1? We called back and spoke with several other folks at the headquarters in Easley (the supposed location of the layoff carnage) who actually laughed at the rumor and speculated aloud about the source of this latest myth -- a competitor perhaps?
No telling. The bottom line is, WaterMark remains a company that currently employs approximately 800 folks globally and generated nearly $100 million in gross sales last year.