Posts Tagged ‘fired’

ShopNBC Can’t Afford Charla Rines, But It’s Paying The New President $400,000 A Year

February 3, 2010

ShopNBC's $400,000 man

ShopNBC is paying its new president, QVC and Macy’s veteran Bob Ayd, a base salary of $400,000, according to a filing with federal regulators Wednesday.

After the market closed, ShopNBC stealthily filed an 8-K with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Ayd’s compensation package. The 61-year-old, named the network’s president Feb. 1, will receive an annual base salary of $400,000, according to the filing.

He also “will have a fiscal year 2010 incentive opportunity to earn up to 65 percent of his annual base salary.” If we can translate that into English, we think he can get up to 65 percent of his salary, or $260,000 on top of his annual wages, as a bonus if he hits his numbers. ShopNBC is also relocating Ayd.

As part of the deal, ShopNBC granted Ayd options to purchase 350,000 shares of common stock at an exercise price equal to the fair market value on the date of grant — or $3.99 on Feb. 1 — 280,000 of which vest over three years and 70,000 of which vest upon his relocation to Minnesota.

Canned host Charla Rines

This all may not sit well with fans of veteran ShopNBC host Charla Rines, who was let go by the network in January. Presumably, as a old-timer at ShopNBC, Rines was making a good salary, which may have helped pave the way for her demise. Or her age could have done her in. Either way, many ShopNBC viewers are not happy, according to the posts on our blog on her exit.

Ayd signed a non-compete agreement, and will receive an amount equal to his base salary, namely $400,000, if he is terminated without cause during his first year of employment.

Ayd served as executive vice president and chief merchandising officer at QVC domestic from 2006 to 2008. He also served as senior vice president of design Ddvelopment & global sourcing and brand development from 2005 to 2006, and as senior vice president of jewelry andfFashion from 2000 to 2004.

Ayd began his career at Macy’s in 1975 as a buyer of handbags, bodywear and footwear, launching a 20-year tenure that included promotion to numerous executive leadership positions, culminating with senior vice president in women’s sportswear. Ayd was an independent consultant from 2008 to 2009.

When Ayd was named ShopNBC president, CEO Keith Stewart voluntarily relinquished his title as president, while continuing as CEO and a director. Ayd reports to Stewart.

Veteran ShopNBC Hosts Charla Rines And Mike Davidson Shown The Revolving Door At No. 3 Home Shopping Network

January 8, 2010

Charla Rines

It looks like long-time ShopNBC hosts Charla Rines and Mike Davidson are the latest to lose their jobs under the regime of the shopping network’s chief Keith Stewart. We guess the turnaround at the No. 3 shopping network isn’t going as well as we thought.

We’re always the last to know, so thank God for the home shopping forums, posters to our blog and ShopNBC’s Facebook page. They were burning up with comments from irate fans of Rines and Davidson, alleging that the pair had been canned because of their age.

We checked the host list on ShopNBC’s Web page Thursday night, and Rines and Davidson were gone.

Mike Davidson

“It is true,” a ShopNBC spokesman said Friday. “They’re no longer with the company.”

He declined to make any additional comment.

Rines, a brassy (as in loud) blonde with spiked hair and a wicked sense of humor, was a fixture at ShopNBC. She joined the network in 1984, and typically did jewelry shows.

Davidson, a former radio disc jockey, has been at ShopNBC since 1997.

ShopNBC now has 18 show hosts, down from 20.

January is a bad time for ShopNBC hosts. A year ago ShopNBC’s husband-and-wife team, Pam and Wes McCoy, were axed as hosts, although Pam still sells a clothing line on the network.

Don’t feel too bad, Charla and Mike. We were laid off in January a year ago, so we know how you feel.

Former ShopNBC CEO Rene Aiu Scores $1.5 Settlement Of Breach-Of-Contract Suit Against The Network, Parent ValueVision

December 8, 2009

Former ShopNBC CEO Rene Aiu Has Reason To Be Smiling

We spent seven years covering courts in Jersey, and we just love writing about lawsuits. We’re getting our chance to do that today, because former ShopNBC president and CEO Rene Aiu has settled her litigation against the home shopping network for a tidy $1.5 million. Sweet.

ShopNBC’s parent company, ValueVision Media, filed a 10-Q with the Securities and Exchange Commission Monday disclosing the Dec. 1 settlement of the breach-of-contract lawsuit that Aiu filed back in Nov. 21 last year. ShopNBC will record a charge of $1,505,000 in the third quarter to pay the settlement.

According to the filing, Aiu will get gross cash payments of $875,000 for severance-pay claims; $250,000 relating to the sale of her residence; and $360,000 in attorneys’ fees. That adds up to $1,485,00 to us, not $1,505,000, but we can’t explain the small discrepancy. Maybe we did the math wrong.

Whatever. It looks like Aiu, who was hired by ShopNBC March 3, 2008, made out quite nicely. She was a veteran of HSN and something called Jupiter Shop Channel Japan when she came to ShopNBC, assigned to try to turnaround the troubled channel. That March and April, she recruited three other senior executives to create her management team. Cost for those four execs in fiscal 2008: $1.1 million.

But ShopNBC didn’t give Aiu much time to do her thing. Six months after she was hired, on Aug. 22, ShopNBC management “terminated” her and the other three new company officials. The board named chairman John Buck CEO, and hired QVC veteran Keith Stewart as president and chief operating officer.

ShopNBC CEO Keith Stewart

We were working at Multichannel News and covered ShopNBC’s second-quarter conference call in August 2008, when investors ripped Buck a new one (we couldn’t write that at Multi) for firing Aiu so quickly, without giving her a chance to do her thing. In all our years of reporting, we have never heard a more hostile and bitter conference call between investors and a company.

About four months later, Aiu sued ValueVision, i.e. ShopNBC. According to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, Aiu alleged in the suit that Buck had given the OK to her turnaround plan, and to her hiring the three new execs. But Aiu charged that Buck was not a very happy camper when she suggested that compensation to ShopNBC officers and its directors be cut, “as a a sign of solidarity with long-suffering shareholders,” according to the Star Tribune.

The paper also reported that Aiu claimed that she and her new team learned that ShopNBC’s business among its best repeat customers had been eroding for years, and that the board was unaware of this looming problem.

The lawsuit alleged that when Aiu presented her findings and suggestions to Buck, her told her to can the new management team. A couple of days later, Aiu and the three senior execs she brought in were “terminated,” as they tend to say in lawsuits.

The Star Tribune said that Aiu’s suit alleged that Buck intimidated employees who disagreed with His Highness. The litigation also alleged that Buck hit vendors up for discounts.

In a nutshell, Aiu charged that she was shitcanned without good cause and that she was — how shall we say it — stiffed out of $2.1 million in severance pay, the Star Tribune reported.

Stewart was promoted to the CEO position on Jan. 27 — the day after Multichannel News pinkslipped us — and Buck went back to his old sole title of chairman.

Stewart brought in a group of fellowQVC alum, and they are actually doing a great job of mounting a turnaround at ShopNBC. The network is not out of the woods by a long shot, but Stewart has managed to diminish the flow of red ink from a river to a trickle.