A rocky year for business led to bewildering corporate speak in 2015

CALGARY -- From disruptive synergies to opening the kimono, corporate speak can range from the mildly irritating to the entirely bewildering.

See Full Article

And with 2015 an often tumultuous year for business, such language thrived as companies tried to deflect unwelcome news.

Here's a look at some of the more unusual bafflegab.

Calgary-based Atco didn't formally announce in November it was cutting jobs, but a spokesperson did confirm they were happening -- sort of.

The company had this, and nothing more, to say about the layoffs:

"Atco is responding to the extremely challenging economic times. We remain dedicated to the communities we have the privilege to work in and are committed to providing safe and reliable services to our customers. We wish to thank all of the people of Atco -- past and present -- for their tremendous contributions to our company."

TD Bank had an equally non-committal response in October when asked about the layoffs it was implementing, saying only that after an organizational review "some roles are changing and some are being impacted." The company declined to elaborate on what "being impacted" meant.

In its third quarter results, Telus announced that, along with a dividend hike, it was cutting 1,500 full-time jobs as a result of "efficiency initiatives." It said the job cuts were "a necessary element of aligning our organization with the growth, customer service and capital allocation activities we are implementing."

And Suncor Energy said in January that it had "implemented a series of workforce initiatives" that would see 1,000 positions lost.

But job cuts weren't the only thing companies tried to avoid saying outright.

Last month, plane and train maker Bombardier, which lost US$4.9 billion in the last quarter, said it was setting out a plan to "further stabilize and de-risk our business, solidify our liquidity, and transform our company through a transition period."

Bankruptcies and funding issues also crept up this year as the resource sector crumbled, but companies didn't want to come out and say just how cash-strapped they were.

In early October, Parallel Energy Trust said its US$165 million credit line was not renewed and "Parallel is continuing to work with its lenders on alternative arrangements. There can be no assurances that alternative arrangements will be agreed to with Parallel's lenders."

The Calgary company filed for creditor protection in November.

Sometimes companies are forced to respond to speculation in the market but aren't prepared to confirm any news.

When word first leaked that Canadian Pacific Railway was preparing a takeover bid for Norfolk Southern, the company had only this to say:

"On behalf of the Toronto Stock Exchange, Canadian Pacific Railway Limited advises that there is no material news pending at this time. CP does not comment on market rumour and speculation."

The following week, CP announced its proposal to take over the U.S. railway.

But some of the biggest corporate news of the year was delivered straight up.

When Valeant Pharmaceuticals decided to end its relationship with a questionable drug distributor, the company came out and said it.

"We have lost confidence in Philidor's ability to continue to operate in a manner that is acceptable to Valeant," the Quebec pharmaceutical giant said, adding that it was "severing all ties with Philidor Rx Services."

And when Target announced it was closing all of its 133 Canadian stores employing 17,600 people, the news release began on a blunt note.

"Today Target Corporation announces that it plans to discontinue operating stores in Canada."



Advertisements

Latest Economic News

  • Asian stocks flat as support grows for U.S. interest rate hike

    Economic CTV News
    SEOUL, Korea, Republic Of - Asian stock markets were largely flat on Thursday with investors in the U.S. markets going on a Thanksgiving holiday and the Fed minutes largely in line with investor expectations that the Fed will soon raise interest rates for a third time next month. Source
  • First LNG shipment leaves B.C. for China as industry looks to expand exports

    Economic CTV News
    SURREY, B.C. -- FortisBC says it has shipped 950 gigajoules of liquefied natural gas from Vancouver to China, marking the industry's first shipment to the Asian country. The move is part of a pilot project aimed to determine long-term feasibility of B.C. Source
  • U.S. commission alerted to review allegations against TripAdvisor

    Economic CTV News
    BOSTON -- The U.S. Federal Trade Commission could take action against TripAdvisor after the Massachusetts-based travel company was accused of deleting hotel reviews that contained allegations of rape and other crimes. Several people told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel this month they were sexually assaulted at Mexican hotels and resorts but the online reviews that mentioned the crimes were taken down. Source
  • Trump SoHo to shed 'Trump' amid reports of sagging business

    Economic CTV News
    NEW YORK -- The Trump SoHo hotel is dropping the name it shares with the U.S. president. The Trump Organization said Wednesday that it is ending its licensing deal with the New York hotel amid reports that the property has struggled to attract business. Source
  • Wellsite pipeline leak spills 560 barrels of oil into northern Alberta swamp

    Economic CTV News
    CALGARY - The Alberta Energy Regulator says a pipeline owned by Calgary-based Mount Bastion Oil & Gas Corp. has leaked about 560 barrels of an oil and water mixture at a northern Alberta wellsite. AER spokesman Jordan Fitzgerald says the regulator has staff supervising cleanup by the company at the site about 65 kilometres northwest of Red Earth Creek, which is about 420 kilometres north of Edmonton. Source
  • Wellsite pipeline leak spills 560 barrels of oil emulsion into Alberta swamp

    Economic CTV News
    CALGARY - The Alberta Energy Regulator says a pipeline owned by Calgary-based Mount Bastion Oil & Gas Corp. has leaked about 560 barrels of an oil and water mixture at a northern Alberta wellsite. AER spokesman Jordan Fitzgerald says the regulator has staff supervising cleanup by the company at the site about 65 kilometres northwest of Red Earth Creek, which is about 420 kilometres north of Edmonton. Source
  • Uber customers torn between scandals and service

    Economic CTV News
    DETROIT -- Uber has managed to hold the title of world's largest ride-hailing service despite its seemingly endless string of scandals. Its latest misbehaviour involving a data breach coverup revealed this week could be the impetus for people to ride elsewhere -- or keep looking the other way. Source
  • Freedom Mobile announces iPhone X dates, provides update on network rollout

    Economic CBC News
    Freedom Mobile will begin taking orders for the Apple iPhone X and iPhone 8 models starting Friday, with the smartphones in its stores on Dec. 8. While that's more than a month after Canada's three national wireless carriers began selling the iPhone X, it will be the first time Freedom Mobile has a full roster of Apple smartphones to offer its customers. Source
  • Highlights of sweeping new Ontario labour laws, including a minimum wage boost

    Economic CTV News
    TORONTO -- Ontario's Liberal government passed a host of changes to labour laws Wednesday. Here are some highlights of the legislation, including the centrepiece minimum wage increase: -- Minimum wage rises from $11.60 an hour to $14 on Jan. Source
  • Canadian grocers expand online services after Amazon acquires Whole Foods chain

    Economic CTV News
    VANCOUVER -- Metro Inc. is looking to expand its online grocery offerings to Ontario next year, making it the latest Canadian retailer to ramp up its e-commerce options in the face of potential competition from Amazon. Source