State Street CEO Ron O'Hanley's approval ratings drop in shadow of layoffs

1 week ago by Joshua Fruhlinger in Trends

In January, Boston-based custody bank State Street ($NYSE:STT) announced that it will lay off 1,500 employees. The cuts came despite State Street beating Q4 expectations. That's because CEO Ronald O'Hanley is dead set on replacing human tasks with machines, saying that "structural costs are still too high and our automation efforts have not moved fast enough."

He added that despite the positive earnings, the company must move forward on its "technology transformation". This transformation includes not just laying off thousands of middle-management and other positions, but will also include hiring up engineers, especially in labor-cheap India.

In the meantime, the company is in a hiring standstill, as job-listings data show.

Visualizing State Street's "Technology Transformation"

While openings at the company have dropped to just over 1,000 (from a 2018 average of twice that), jobs in India haven't seen as large of a drop off and are expected (as mentioned above) to increase over time as the company works through its transition to automating more of its business.

Meanwhile, openings for jobs with the phrase "Engineer" in their titles have increased slightly in the past week.

A snapshot of the most-common job titles from the past month, taken in aggregate, shows that Engineering jobs far outweigh anything else:


Title (Count)

Cloud Operations Engineer


Data Scientist and Cognitive Software Engineer officer


Software Engineer


Cloud Site Reliability Engineer


Security Engineer


Software Engineer, Entry Level


Site Reliability Engineer


Test Engineer


Cognitive Software Engineer, COG, China, AVP-2


Cognitive Quality Assurance Engineer I


Data Scientist and Cognitive Software Engineer I


Cloud Infrastructure Engineer - NY


Desktop Support Engineer


Financial Engineer, Front Office


Cloud Engineer, Officer


Financial Engineer-Middle Office


Cognitive Software Engineer officer


Jr Cloud Operations Engineer


Performance Engineering and Test (Evergreen)


Graduate DevOps Engineer – Cloud Native Service Infrastructure


Employee Sentiment on Decline

It comes as little surprise, then, that State Street employees aren't happy about the changes. 

O'Hanley's CEO rating at Glassdoor, which has been a healthy 73-74% for years, recently dropped to as low as 33%. It sits at just 46% today. The drop, of course, occurred immediately following his workforce-reduction announcement. It also comes in light of news that 11 floors of the eponymous State Street building in Boston will be leased out to workplace sharing upstart WeWork ($WEWORK).

Meanwhile, employees rate State Street as a good place to work for others at a low of just 38%, down from 42% in October.

The layoffs, as they were announced quite recently, have yet to affect State Street's LinkedIn employee-count graph, which still shows a steady growth trend.

We expect that to change in the coming weeks as employees are given their separation packages. Until then, we'll keep our eyes on State Street.

Joshua Fruhlinger

Joshua has been writing about technology, lifestyle, and business for over 20 years. He's one of the original writers and editors for Engadget, and still writes a...

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