Posts Tagged ‘turnaround’

The Tail Wagging the Dog

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Expert Perspective by Grahall’s Michael Dennis Graham

expert perspective telescopeIn her July 27, 2009 Wall Street Journal article titled “U.S. Pay Czar to Rework Contracts Deemed High”, Deborah Solomon says: “The role of the government in setting pay is reaching a pivotal moment. Seven banks and industrial companies that received significant bailouts must submit proposals for their compensation packages by Aug. 13: Citigroup Inc., Bank of America Corp., American International Group Inc., General Motors Co., Chrysler Corp., Chrysler Financial and GMAC Financial Services Inc.” 

Missing from most if not all of the discussion surrounding this issue is an acknowledgement of the business cycle in which these troubled companies find themselves.  The fact that these firms are part of the government bailout is a big hint.  They are “troubled companies.” In our lingo that business cycle is called “turnaround.” And, perhaps the most important consideration when developing a compensation program for a turnaround company is that the right compensation structure tends to be counter-intuitive.
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UPDATE: Goodbye GM…. Helloooooo GM!

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Expert Perspective by Grahall’s Michael Dennis Graham

The king is dead. Long live the king.

On Monday, June 1, GM filed for bankruptcy.  The company was founded in 1908, and acquired Olds Motor Company.  Olds Motor Company produced its first automobile in 1897, which gives GM well over 100 years in the auto industry.   Throughout this period, GM survived numerous economic crises and was, at its heyday, the king – the largest U.S. corporation and the world’s largest employer. 

An Associated Press article published June 1st, quotes GM Chairman Kent Kresa’s written statement: “Today marks a new beginning for General Motors. … The board is confident that this New GM can operate successfully in the intensely competitive U.S. market and around the world.”  And that is exactly the point. 

Only time will tell if GM can design, engineer, assemble, sell and service cars that people want and can afford to buy; cars that are better than the competition. We are not “car people”.  We do not hail from generations of Americans who helped build GM into an international powerhouse, many working their way up through the ranks to the executive levels. But we have consulted with hundreds of companies in all industries and in all stages of their business cycles, and we believe, like Kresa and others, that “it’s all about the turnaround,” and how quick and successful that turnaround can be.
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