The World Bank’s chief financial officer has agreed to forgo a US$94,500 annual bonus amid rising complaints from the bank’s staff over a reorganization.
The latest “staff revolt” flared just before the world’s finance ministers and central bank governors are to attend the bank’s annual meeting starting on Friday.
It was learned that Bertrand Badré, who joined the bank from Société Générale in March 2013, was being awarded an annual “scarce skills premium” on top of his US$379,000 annual salary, the Financial Times said.
In a meeting on Tuesday, bank president Jim Yong Kim told staff members that Badré would give up his bonus.
But that did not stop concerned staff from complaining about sinking morale and penny pinching at the bank, the report said.
“You can agree on everything you want at the annual meeting but if we are not here to implement whatever you decide nothing is going to happen,” one staff member was quoted as saying.
Kim said the bank needs to implement changes to its structure, including reorienting its operations around global specialist groups rather than regional offices.
But the exercise, which in part seeks to achieve about US$400 million in savings, has fueled anxiety among staff members.
“We are implementing fundamental changes to our development delivery model to become fit for purpose to meet today’s most pressing challenges,” bank spokesman David Theis was quoted as saying.
“Of course staff unease is natural and understandable in any large organization undergoing such a large-scale realignment,” he said. “We believe we will come out of this process as a stronger, more unified organization, better positioned to achieve our mission.”
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