The Margin: Spanx CEO gives workers $10K and first-class plane tickets to anywhere in the world to celebrate Blackstone deal
Spanx sure knows how to say thanks.
After private-equity firm Blackstone Inc.
announced last week that it bought a majority stake in Spanx, the shapewear brand’s CEO and founder Sara Blakely is sharing the wealth with her employees.
Blakely, 50, announced in an Instagram video that she bought each of her Spanx employees two first-class Delta
plane tickets to travel anywhere they want in the world, along with $10,000 in cash to spend on their trip.
“I really want every employee to celebrate this moment in their own way and create a memory that will last them a lifetime,” she wrote in her Instagram caption. “Cheers to 21 years of magic and many more to come.”
While the video was posted last Thursday, the workplace windfall was going viral on Tuesday afternoon, which led both Spanx and Blakely’s name to lead Google search trends.
The company reportedly has around 750 employees, but it’s not clear how many received the gifts. Some of the employees featured in the celebratory video gushed that they were planning to jet to destinations including Bora Bora, Croatia, South Africa — and even Antarctica.
The womenswear brand based in Atlanta was founded in 2000, after Blakely cut the feet off her control top pantyhose to create an undergarment that would smooth her midsection under her pants. Spanx is now sold in more than 50 countries worldwide. And the global compression and shapewear market is expected to hit $7 billion by 2030, Allied Market Research reports.
“On the white board in my room, I wrote a goal down. I said, ‘This company will one day be worth $20 million.’ Everybody laughed at me…And so, to stand here today and think about what we’ve been able to create and what we’ve been able to do by being authentic and kind and [delivering] amazing products to women,” Blakely says in the video.
The Blackstone deal values Spanx Inc. at $1.2 billion.
Speaking of amazing perks, KPMG, one of the Big Four accounting firms, just announced that it’s giving all workers a firm-wide break twice a year, when employees get nine consecutive days off to disconnect. It’s also giving all parents 12 weeks of paid parental leave to bond with a newborn, newly-adopted child or new foster child, regardless of whether they’re the primary caregiver or not. And it’s reducing employee health care premiums by 10% in 2022, with no change in the benefit levels.
Read more: KPMG employees will get automatic employer 401(k) contributions — without a match — and many more benefit perks
Such generous benefits, bonuses and extra flexibility can be seen as a strategy that some employers are trying in order to retain talent amid the “Great Resignation” as Americans quit their jobs and many industries report worker shortages.