Sara Blakely is the founder and CEO of Spanx. (Image credit: Image posted on Instagram by sarablakely)
Employees of American shapewear brand Spax were in for a huge surprise recently when the company’s founder and CEO surprised them with $10,00 each and two first-class air tickets for each employee.
Sara Blakely was leading the celebrations at the company’s headquarters in Atlanta last week after private equity firm Blackstone bought a majority stake in Spanx, valuing her company at $1.2 billion. Blakely will remain a “significant shareholder” at Spanx, she said.
There were tears, squeals and surprised faces when Blakely made the bumper announcement before her employees. Snippets from the celebrations, shared by her on social media showed her giving a speech, talking about the deal with Blackstone and saying what a milestone moment it was for her and the company she founded 21 years ago.
“Why am I spinning a globe? Why am I spinning a globe?” Blakely tells a room full for staff as she spins a globe placed on a table.
“I’m spinning a globe because to celebrate this moment, I have bought each one of you two first-class tickets to anywhere in the world.”
The room erupted with cheer and some employees were stunned to hear what they were getting.
But their boss wasn’t done yet.
“If you go on a trip, you might want to go out on a really nice dinner, you might want to go out to a really nice hotel. And so, with everybody’s two first-class tickets to anywhere in the world, you are each getting $10,000.”
More cheer and hugs followed as a few women employees were seen shedding happy tears.
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Spanx employees will get the first-class tickets on Delta Air Lines. When asked about their travel plan using their company’s mega bonus, employees listed Japan, Croatia, South Africa, Antarctica, a honeymoon in Boara Bora as their holiday destination. A man said he is flying to Sweden and elope with his girlfriend.
“I really want every employee to celebrate this moment in their own way and create a memory that will last them a lifetime,” Blakely wrote on LinkedIn and Instagram.
Sara Blakely was named the world's youngest, self-made female billionaire by Forbes Magazine in March 2012. She also found a spot on TIME magazine’s list of 100 most influential people.