This is a rush transcript from "Your World With Neil Cavuto," November 12, 2008. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: You have got to wonder what a CEO going through tough times days not the talk of a bailout is thinking.
He's the CEO of DHL. John Mullen is his name. John has made some tough choices, like having to lay off 9,500 folks.
You're hearing this, John, and thinking what?
JOHN MULLEN, CEO, DHL: Well, I don't think our industry is quite in the same category as the financial services industry or maybe even the automotive industry.
• Video: Watch Neil's interview with th CEO of DHL
But it was a pretty tough choice for us. And we have to look after not only shareholders, but we have got 120,000 employees in the rest of the world as well.
CAVUTO: Any bitterness that no one, John, is offering you a bailout?
MULLEN: No, no. I think this is a business issue, tough decisions that we have to make as responsible managers.
CAVUTO: All right.
The rap some of the auto guys, as you know, is that they have failed to make tough decisions, or failed to address tough issues. And now they have come to the government to address those issues for them. Should they lose their jobs?
MULLEN: Well, I don't — I'm not sure that it's for me to comment on the American automotive industry.
But I think, in any large corporation, you are going to have good bits and bad bits. In our case, we are very strong in the rest of the world. We have a strong world performing business. But we have huge losses, some $1.3 billion this year, in the United States. And no corporation can withstand that.
So, we have to take the necessary action to protect, not only the rest of the world, but also — you know, we have a very strong business in and out of the United States, an international business. That's our routes as a company. We are international shipping. That's our specialists and that's our strength. And, so, we need to excise the piece that is causing the pain, which was trying to compete in the domestic...
CAVUTO: So, the pain is here in the U.S.?
MULLEN: In the domestic portion.
MULLEN: So, moving packages between U.S. destinations.
CAVUTO: But do you think the fear breeds more fear? We were talking very briefly about the markets and this just lack of confidence out there. How long do you see that continuing?
MULLEN: Well, I mean, that is a different issue. We have a real fundamental economic issue that we have to deal with as prudent managers. But the overall...
CAVUTO: But you are not seeing it everywhere in the globe?
MULLEN: Well, we're definitely seeing a slowdown affecting our whole global business. And that — some of that is irrational fear. But I fear that the majority of it is real.
CAVUTO: So, you have a good perspective of what the holiday season could look like. A lot of people ship stuff in that environment.
CAVUTO: What does your read tell you right now?
MULLEN: I would say not good.
Our industry makes a significant percentage of its returns in the last quarter of the calendar year. Traditionally, September on starts to spike quite sharply. We don't see that anywhere near to the same degree this year, and not just in the United States, also in Europe, where it's a big part of profitability as well.
CAVUTO: All right, John Mullen, I wish you well. I know you have some tough sledding ahead of you, but you are taking some pretty strong steps to deal with it.
John Mullen, he is the CEO of DHL. Thank you very much. All right.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
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