Morgan Stanley CEO Tells Employees To Put Their Sweats In Storage And Get Back To The Office By Labor Day. Or Else!

Here’s a break from the incessant stream of stories about workers who are demanding to continue to work from home or maybe just quit their job altogether if they have to return to the office. 

A Wall Street CEO is laying down the law with his staff.  He wants them back at headquarters, “voluntarily” by Labor Day. 

What’s the consequence if they choose to not come back?  Well, for the sensitive crowd that needs the answer sugar-coated, Morgan Stanley CEO James Gorman said he would be “disappointed” if that happens. 

Gorman had the mic at the firm’s U.S. Financials, Payments & CRE Conference in the Big Apple Monday, and he put himself at the front of the line when it comes to CEO’s who are planning on holding employees accountable for not returning to work, especially since New York City is in the process of being fully open. 

The boss himself is going to the office four days a week now, and he expects to see a lot of familiar faces around corporate headquarters soon. Or else. 

‘Make no mistake about it – we do our work inside Morgan Stanley offices, and that’s where we teach, that’s where our interns learn, that’s where you build all the soft cues that go with building a successful career that aren’t just about Zoom presentations.  When will that occur? My leadership style has been very deliberate. I went from one day a week from July to Labor Day last year, two days Labor Day until the end of the year, three days the beginning of this year until March and now I am at four days.”

It’s actually refreshing to see and hear real leadership, as opposed to the soft approach most CEO’s feel they have to take as to not open himself  up to a priest at his house, or maybe a petition campaign. 

Gorman said if you are capable and willing to go into a restaurant in New York City, you can come to the office.

In case any Morgan Stanley employees haven’t gotten the hint yet, here’s more from Gorman. 

“I would call it directionally strong without dictating – yet. But [by] Labor Day, I’ll be very disappointed if people haven’t found their way into the office and then we’ll have a different kind of conversation.”

Reading between the lines – don’t be surprised if pay cuts are in store for those who prefers to stay in their sweat pants and work out of their kitchen. 


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