An article in the Business section May 15 quoted a Reston Publishing Co. employe as referring to golden parachutes for executives of the company arranged by its parent, Gulf & Western Industries. Reston Publishing's previous owner, Prentice-Hall, had adopted golden parachute provisions, although they did not apply to Reston Publishing employes.
After an unforeseen decline in the computer book market and a major corporate reorganization, Reston Publishing Co. in Reston yesterday announced its local operations will be dissolved and folded into other publishing facilities in Norwalk, Conn., and Englewood Cliffs, N.J.
Until the reorganization, Reston, which has 104 employes, was a wholly owned subsidiary of Prentice Hall, the $550-million-a-year publishing company based in Englewood Cliffs.
Last year, Simon & Schuster, the publishing subsidiary of Gulf & Western Industries, acquired Prentice-Hall in a transaction valued at more than $700 million. The acquisition made the newly combined publishing companies the largest publisher of books in the United States.
Soon after the acquisition, Prentice-Hall began cutting back the computer book operations at Reston.
The latest announcement said Simon & Schuster's educational publishing group decided to transfer Reston's operations to Connecticut and New Jersey as of June 1.
"They've closed the company and taken most people's jobs away," said one mid-level employe at the company who asked not to be identified. In addition, the employe said, "They have penalized the people who have worked in the editorial, marketing and sales staff by cutting about 35 percent out of the usual merit bonuses."
The employe said the Reston company lost about $11 million on computer book sales last year.
Simon & Schuster would not comment.
The employe said workers were particularly embittered about cuts in their bonuses, because Gulf & Western has offered more than $4.1 million in "golden parachute" arrangements, allowing Reston's top executives to exit with large sums of money.