Congratulations, Shareholders

April 08, 2016 | GET MORE : Ethical Leadership

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By the end of his first day of work at U.S. Bank, Kasi Buridi had met the company's CEO and become a shareholder.

Most people don't start a new job on a Thursday.

Nor do most people meet their new company's CEO on their first day.

That's where Kasi Buridi is different. His first day, a Thursday, coincided with U.S. Bank's annual all-employee event, at which CEO Richard Davis and President Andy Cecere celebrate the year that was and preview the year ahead for several thousand employees in Minneapolis and tens of thousands more live-streaming it across the country.

"I had looked Richard up earlier so I could make sure I recognized him among all the people at the event and, what do you know, there he was walking up to my colleagues and me," said Buridi.

Buridi told Davis it was his first day. Davis' eyes lit up.

Later, toward the end of the event Davis and Cecere shared some unexpected news.

Everyone who was an employee of the bank as of that day, including Buridi, would be made a shareholder in the company receiving at least 10 shares of stock.

"I met a young man who just started today…," Davis said, in making the announcement.

Buridi, who'd only started that day because his manager thought it'd be valuable to attend the event, leaned forward in his seat.

Davis continued, "… and I said 'Dude, you're going to be sooo thrilled tonight when you hear this news.'"

At this point Buridi's co-workers were nudging him and whispering that he was the 'young man' in the story while Buridi, having recognized this fact, had his arms raised straight up in the air signaling a touchdown.

"When we talked earlier, he'd said that and told me to 'remember this day' – I'd thought that he just meant to remember this day because it's the beginning of a long career, but then it all made sense,"  said Buridi.

Buridi earned a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering and a MBA in marketing from Andhra University in India before moving to the United States in 1997, but he always had a passion for coding. He decided to join the bank after getting a feel for the people and culture through four months working as a consultant in a similar coding role.

"You've worked so hard and you've invested so much," Davis told the bank's 67,000 employees. "Tonight, we're giving you the keys to the company to help lead us into this amazing future."

As "Congratulations Shareholders" faded onto the screen behind them, Davis and Cecere explained that all full-time employees were receiving 20 shares of company stock; part-time receiving 10 shares; and senior managers receiving a 10 percent increase in the long-term stock incentives already built into their compensation.

"From meeting down-to-earth Richard, to learning about what we do in the community, to the shareholder announcement – I got the sense that I'm at a company that truly respects its employees," said Buridi. "That’s important to me."

Pat Swanson is a member of U.S. Bank's corporate communications team.