Over the last couple of years, the PwC Tampa office has been in the news for various reasons, none of which were very flattering. Back in 2010, the firm laid off nearly 500 employees much to the chagrin of the locals. Presumably, the firm felt bad about the whole thing, and in 2011, decided to […]
Apparently a few IT support folks in the South were recently told their services were no longer needed:
I have a friend who works in their Tampa office. He said they’ve let go the few IT support people in his office as well as others in other offices in the region. [This occurred] 3 weeks – month ago.
Contributor note: As can happen when assembling posts for a tabloid publication late at night after too many beers and not enough sleep, we bumbled some simple facts on this one. We appreciate an astute reader reaching out to correct us and will spend the remainder of the day in the punishment corner thinking about what we’ve done.
It wasn’t that long ago so all of you should still have PwC’s recent Tampa “scandal” fresh in your minds but in case you need a refresher: 390 PwC employees in Tampa were impacted by a restructuring which left some out of a job and others i h other companies.
PwC fired a little under 500 IT people in Tampa (moving those jobs to an outsourcing firm in India) and that pissed everyone off so to be nice, PwC decided to hire 200 new people and build a new $78 million office smack dab in the middle of Tampa (after hiring 487 employees in Florida for FY 2011). Isn’t that sweet? Well yes, it was, but that wasn’t the problem the press had an issue with. It was the fact that PwC was going to get $2 million (give or take a few pennies) in subsidies for doing it.
That didn’t go over very well (understandably) and as of yesterday, PwC had their Tampa lawyer – one Kenneth Tinkler – shoot a quick “oops, our bad” note to the mayor and city council stating they would no longer seek the $1.1 million “in incentive payments already approved by the City and County.”
Not the kind of firm to be accused of bitching out on a big deal like this, PwC will move forward with the plan to build in Tampa’s Westshore and hopes to have its entire Tampa workforce settled in there by 2013.
“I was very surprised to hear that they were turning down the incentives,” said Tampa City Council member Mary Mulhern, who apparently exercised professional skepticism during the subsidy approval process. “But I am very glad that they have reiterated their intention to stay here.”
See, what happened was apparently the Tampa/Hillsborough County Economic Development Corporation got the facts wrong
PwC fudged the facts a bit when it applied for the money on PwC’s behalf (as is standard), saying it needed the incentives to keep 1,633 jobs in Tampa. At the time, Tampa City Council members and Hillsborough County commissioners didn’t actually know the unnamed financial services firm applying for the incentives was PwC. According to the St. Petersburg Times, a written application made on the firm’s behalf said it had competing offers from South Carolina, India, Singapore and Argentina. But PwC denies that it ever planned on moving any jobs out of the area. “We never considered moving those 2,000 jobs out of Tampa,” the firm’s Florida market managing partner Mario de Armas told the St. Petersburg Times.
Update: Mario later corrected his earlier statement by telling the St. Petersburg Times “PwC has openly communicated to the Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corp. that when it originally evaluated potential sites for the firm’s new Enterprise Solutions Center, the firm was considering either a short-term lease renewal in the existing building in Tampa or constructing a building in Tampa with a long-term lease commitment. Although we did not contemplate an immediate move of 2,000 jobs out of Tampa, a short-term lease arrangement inherently leaves open the long-term question as to where our Enterprise Solutions Center would be located. Instead, our decision to invest in a new building demonstrates a sustained, long-term commitment to the Tampa area. PwC was forthright and consistent in its communications with Florida’s state and local economic development officials throughout this process, and so now we are very much looking forward to our partnership with the greater Tampa community and to maintaining and potentially increasing our work force in Tampa.”
The entire letter from their lawyer is included here for your reading pleasure:
Remember when PwC laid off
500-ish 470 people in the Tampa area last year? The townies weren’t impressed and the local press, including the St. Petersburg Times, was all over the firm about it. At the time, PwC insisted that they would create more jobs in the area to make up for things. Frankly, no one took them seriously and probably chalked it up to “something PR has to say.” So it was a nice surprise to learn that the firm is not only hiring 200 new people but they’re spending $78 million on a “build-to-suit building.”
Typically when these kinds of things happen, the local and state governments like to subsidize a bit of the project and this situation is no different. The firm is reportedly receiving $2 million but a source at PwC, who wants to keep their identity secret because DUH, told me that it’s actually closer to $1.2 million. It consists of approximately $800k and some change from the state of Florida and $1.1 million (yes, I know the math doesn’t work you twerps, so save it, they didn’t have exact numbers) from the city and county, the latter being part of the Premier Business Bonus Program.
Rather than simply say “Thank you, PwC for bestowing your autumnal hues on our otherwise hot, sticky, green and tan town…oh, and the jobs are okay too,” the Tampa Bay Businees Journal is poking around the “$2 million” in subsidies. The focus of the story caused our source to be a little perplexed since, you know, the firm is spending nearly $80 million and hiring 200 people. Not to mention the people that will build the $78 million whathaveyou. Did they think the current PwC employees were going to bring their tool belts and slap together some framing and drywall? Plus, the firm doesn’t get the
$2 million $1.2 million unless they spend the $78 million and they hire the 200 people. 197 simply won’t do (I asked).
Does it make up for the 500 layoffs? Maybe not. But a story about subsidies that probably wouldn’t pay for Dennis Nally’s annual travel? There’s far more interesting things going on in Florida. I assure you.