As explained in the article, Mr. Frantz has been promised promotion many times only for the company to renege. Is this because he does a poor job? I can't really say. It sounds like he is at least somewhat ambitious in getting ahead. Also it sounds like his employer isn't above being unscrupulous.
I've also found myself moving up the chain only to suddenly have the position eliminated and demoted further back down the chain. One job I worked at, getting a promotion was the first step to getting fired what with how often they fired managers. In some cases it's better to keep your head down, but it all depends on the situation. I think it's a bit of a fairy tale to say you'll start in the mailroom and end up an executive in 20 years by "working hard". Does it happen still? Probably, but rarely.