Brookdale Lays Off 100 Workers as Cost-Cutting Proceeds

The nation’s largest senior housing provider has laid off about 100 workers as part of an effort to cut costs and reorganize.

Regional dining services directors, regional maintenance techs, and several regional vice presidents are among those to see their positions cut, a source with knowledge of the situation told Senior Housing News.

“We are working to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of our organization and to align our structure around our residents’ needs and expectations to support our mission of enriching lives,” Brookdale said in a written statement to SHN. “To reach that goal, we are in the process of making some changes that affect not only the business, but our associates.”

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The move comes just a few weeks after Brookdale badly missed expectations for its third-quarter earnings, sending its share price plunging more than 18%. Increased competition in secondary markets took a bite out of revenue, executives said on a call with analysts after announcing the quarterly results.

Also during that call, leaders at the Brentwood, Tennessee-based company emphasized that general and administrative expenses were down 36% year-over-year. This will continue to be a focus area for the company, which has struggled with declining share price and a host of operational challenges since acquiring rival Emeritus Corp. in 2014, the execs said.

The layoffs appear to be part of this ongoing effort to cut G&A expenses by at least $25 million, Jefferies analyst Brian Tanquilut told SHN.

In addition, Brookdale has reduced its portfolio by about 10% since its acquisition of Emeritus, after which it was operating more than 1,100 communities. Changes to the regional management infrastructure may be reflecting the trimmed portfolio, Tanquilut noted.

The layoffs come as Brookdale enters the holiday season, typically the busiest time of the year for senior living move-ins. But not every person being laid off from their current position will be exiting the company, as alternate positions have been found internally for some of them, according to the statement Brookdale shared with SHN.

“It’s always difficult to make decisions that affect our people because they are so important to us and our mission. We have given as much advance notice as possible, treated those affected with respect, and have been able to provide some opportunities for transfer within the company,” the statement reads. “In the end, we believe the changes we’re making are the right decision to help us move the business forward.”

Brookdale employed 53,000 full-time workers and 29,000 part-time workers as of the end of 2015, with 630 in the Brentwood headquarters, 700 in its Milwaukee office, and 1,030 in regional support offices.

Written by Tim Mullaney

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