About 50 Tampa Bay workers were laid off Thursday at American International Group, as the multinational insurance company announced nationwide office closures and job cuts.
Local employees were told Thursday at 11 a.m. that AIG was shuttering all but four of its financial network offices in the United States, effective immediately, said local AIG marketing director Michael Simpson. Employees were escorted out of the building by hired security personnel at noon as computers were shut off and personal passwords expired.
"On Jan. 7, we restructured our AIG Financial Network (AIGFN) business by moving certain AIGFN financial professionals to AIG Partners Group, our distribution channel for independent agencies that work with a small number of carriers," company spokeswoman Stasa Cushman said in a statement.
"Unfortunately this involved staff reductions at AIGFN locations throughout the U.S. While difficult, we strongly believe that these adjustments are critical to AIG's overall strategic direction and simplified business model to ensure efficient resource allocation going forward."
Cushman declined to elaborate on how many employees were laid off and which offices were closed.
AIG operates 14 financial network offices in Florida, including in Tampa, Clearwater Beach, Bonita Springs and Ocala. All 14 of those offices will close. The four national offices that will remain open have strong ties to "Chinese markets," Simpson said senior executives told them on a conference call.
Calls placed to the 14 state AIG offices on Friday were not picked up. Employees were given generic copies of severance packages Thursday and told individual packages would be mailed to them. Local offices were closed Friday, Simpson said.
The layoffs had not been reported to the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity as of Friday.
The company is scheduled to host a strategy update via webcast on Jan. 26 and to have a "proactive plan to drive shareholder value," a company statement said. The moves follow pressure from billionaire investor Carl Icahn to divide AIG into three companies. AIG will release its fourth quarter earnings results on Feb. 11.
AIG has a rating of three stars out of five for its good benefits and "work-life balance" on GlassDoor.com, a website that allows employees to rank and review employers.