CAA to Layoff Agents and Furlough Hundreds of Staffers

“This is a painful and unprecedented moment, and words are insufficient,’ agency says in a statement

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CAA has laid off approximately 90 agents and executives across all areas, and will furlough 275 assistants and other staffers amid the novel coronavirus pandemic, the agency announced on Tuesday.

See the full statement below:

“CAA began working remotely earlier this year due to the pandemic. Everyone at the company participated in reducing compensation with the hope that we could keep all employees financially whole through the end of our fiscal year, September 30th, 2020. We are honoring that commitment, including for those impacted by today’s announcement. But, with greater visibility into the COVID-19 challenges of fiscal year 2021, we have made the difficult decision to implement workforce reductions, in addition to our ongoing cost-saving measures. Effective this week, approximately 90 agents and executives from departments across the agency will be leaving. In addition, we are furloughing approximately 275 assistants and other staff. The company will continue to fully pay the health plan premiums for those being furloughed.This is a painful and unprecedented moment, and words are insufficient. Today, we simply say that we extend our sincere appreciation and deepest gratitude to our departing colleagues.”

The move comes as the United States is experiencing a dramatic rise in COVID-19 cases in several states, particularly those that have either started to reopen following strict measures to stop the virus’ spread, or largely failed to take steps necessary to do so.

The company shut down its offices on March 12, one day after actors Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson announced they had contracted the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 and caused the world to take the disease seriously. Since then CAA has taken several steps to remain solvent during the harsh economic downturn resulting from shutdowns made necessary by the pandemic.

Among those steps, the talent agency enacted pay cuts of up to 50%, on a progressive scale, meaning the more someone made, the more their pay was cut; CAA Chiefs Richard Lovett, Bryan Lourd and Kevin Huvane will take no salary for the rest of the year. “We deeply appreciate not only the understanding that employees across the company have demonstrated since this unprecedented global crisis began, but also the remarkable support and compassion colleagues have shown one another, clients, and many in the community in need,” CAA said in a statement at the time.

CAA also raised $75 million in a new debt sale on May 4.