David Siegel, Westgate Resorts CEO, Gave Employees Raise After Obama Won Despite Firing Threats

 @nadinedeninnon.deninno@ibtimes.com on November 09 2012 10:28 AM

David Siegel, the CEO of Westgate Resorts, who vowed to fire his employees if President Barack Obama won the election, changed his mind. Instead, he hasn't fired anyone yet and gave them all a raise.

Siegel, who could be the owner of America's largest home when construction is completed, told Bloomberg he feels a bit pessimistic about the climate of the country in the wake of Obama re-election.

"I think it’s going to be a negative climate for business," he said. "It’s going to be more of the same, and the same was terrible. I’m not optimistic. I’m going to work hard, try to turn lemons into lemonade, but I don’t see this economy turning around. I think it’s going to be worse in four years."

Given this, Siegel said he has become "not just pessimistic about the next four years," but rather "pessimistic about the future of the country."

He said he's not excited to start new projects in the climate and is still unsure if he will fire any employees. But he did give everyone a raise.

"Meanwhile I gave everybody in the company a raise this week—the average was 5 percent. I wanted to help them handle the additional burdens the government will put on them," Siegel said.

Back in October, Siegel circulated the email to his employees at Westgate Resports implying that they would all be fired if Obama is reelected in November.

“If any new taxes are levied on me, or my company, as our current President plans, I will have no choice but to reduce the size of this company,” Siegel wrote in the email.

It turns out, though, the email was actually a chain letter which circulated during the 2008 election. Siegel said he edited the email “based on his assessment of the political and economic climate" and sent it out.

"I did use the letter that had circulated before as a guideline, but I changed it [to fit my circumstances]," Siegel told Gawker. "It speaks the truth and it gives [employees] something to think about when they go to the polls."

Siegel, though, said he "didn't do a thing" in telling his employees to vote but rather wished them luck. On Wednesday, he circulated a new email in a much different tone.

"I sent everyone a nice letter today telling them I’m going to work my butt off to keep things going. I wish them well. I told them how important they are to me and I hope things are going to be better than I expect. I don’t want to fulfill my own prophecy," he said.

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