‘We’ll close the American factories first,’ Ed confides to his diaries, ‘it’s cheap and easy to sack Americans – thank God there’s not much employee protection law in the Land of the Free. Then we’ll announce a vague intention of closing some of our European sites in the hope people will leave voluntarily.’
‘If I can get rid of half the workforce we’ll be in a much better position to pay the interest on the debt which our private equity owners have raised on the company and we’ll start getting the books looking profitable for the IPO in three years’ time. That’s the strategy,’ writes Ed.
‘Trouble is, no one else seems to understand we’re in a new ball-game’, writes ED, ‘first the CTO resigns when I halve the R&D budget; then the manufacturing VP resigns when I tell him to sack half the workforce. And I was offering them a chance to get rich. Ingratitude.’
‘These muppets think it’s all about vision, intellect, creativity and new products, but it’s actually all about ROI, ROE, RONA, ETR, cash-flow and margin,’ writes Ed.
‘Yesterday I had the COO in. I told him: “Tell me all the business units where we’re not either the No.1 or No.2 in the market.”‘
‘”Why?”‘ he asked.
‘”Because they’re going to be improved, sold or closed,” I told him remembering my Jack Welch lessons.’
‘”Oh shit”, said the COO.’
‘Oh shit indeed’, writes Ed, ‘roll on my $25 mil.’