CBC will be laying off 800 employees as part of major cuts designed to bridge a $171 million financial shortfall for the 2009-2010 year. The move announced by Hubert Lacroix, president and CEO, will also include a 10-20 per cent cut in executive compensation. Staff cuts are expected to start in the summer and end by the end of September this year. In a statement, the public broadcaster said the first step towards this is the initiation of a voluntary retirement incentive program, which has been submitted to the government for approval. "We've done and will continue to do everything we can to minimize the impact of the situation on our staff. But in a company where 60 per cent of the overall budget goes to salaries, it's simply impossible to bridge a gap of this magnitude without having a major impact on people,” Lacroix said in a statement. The plan for downsizing was submitted to the government in February and is based on a projected shortfall of $158 million and $13 million in strategic investments earmarked for next year. The federal government on its part has said it won’t help the CBC out and instead asked the public broadcaster to find means of raising its own money—estimated to be $125 million through the sale of assets. The CBC blames the shortfall on declining revenues, increased programming costs, a base salary funding shortfall, and aging infrastructure.