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Sunday, August 21, 2011

Good Job I Kept The Loot

I'm going to need it. Earlier this month I was informed by my company that much to their regret, we would be parting ways.  Well, if they really regretted it, why exactly did they go through with it?  I don't think they were being entirely truthful.

This company, C**co, which is based in Silicon Valley, had 40,000 employees, and a cash hoard of US$30 Billion, a lot more that the measly $200k I got from jacking up that Boeing 727 40 years ago.  It seemed like a lot at the time.  But thanks to the 70's and 80's poor stock markets, repeated again in the 2000's, it's not so much now.  The company didn't *have to* lay anybody off, they just wanted to.

They may regret it, but I don't.  I didn't like working for that huge company.  After they bought the start-up I worked for in 2007, it seemed like it would be fun to enjoy the resources of a big company and really go after the market.  Prior to the acquisition we had sales growth of 30% per-annum.  The year afterward, thanks to stupid go-to-market policies and bad pricing, our sales "growth" was -98%.  They destroyed our value in only 12 months, and then decided there was "no market" for the product.  So they canceled the product, and absorbed most of the people into other business units.

By this time, all of the other people in marketing had gone, fed up or laid off and gone to other companies.  I would have been gone too, but the right opportunity didn't show up.  So for 6 months I had nothing to do, except to cash the paychecks.  I asked for a new assignment, but wasn't given one.  I made almost as much for no work as in that 727 job, if you don't count inflation (you might remember I lost a fair part of the Northwest Airlines money during the parachute drop.  Some kid found it on a sandbar in the Snake River a few years later.  Or was it the Columbia River?)

Finally, last summer I was given a new assignment and transferred into a different marketing group, based in Massachusetts, but linked into Silicon Valley HQ.  It started out as fun, I market launched the new products last February.  But stupid internal politics delayed the product availability into 2013, leaving little for me to do (again).  So when the layoff rolled around, I was an easy target.  All the rest of the marketing team, including all of my management chain were one or two timezones and over 1,500 miles away.  I knew I could be cut the most easily, and I was.

Still, I hated working remotely.  It's isolating.  When I did this for another large company, it worked, because I could get on a plane regularly, and avoiding the temptation to jack those up as well (I'm retired from all that nonsense) spend time at the headquarters, getting to know people and attending planning meetings.  This company instituted a travel ban in 2009, so everything was via email and conference calls.  I hated that.  So I'm not exactly unhappy that I'm out.

But now I'm going to have to dig into that hidden cash.  I wonder if the feds track the serial numbers?  They'll get a surprise......


Gary said...

Wishing you the best....I know you have heard it before but when one door closes another opens. I hope that next door is the perfect fit to what you're looking for.

My lovely Bride has been through this twice in the last seven years,AIG and a placement agency. She is now working again at a large health care provider.

Just to show how it can go, Mary had to lay-off multiple engineering employees that were consultants for the delaware chemical giant. She came home and was just sick all night after having to give them the news. I joked and said that's not the worst part, if they don't need people they won't need you to place them. She got the lay off notice the very next friday.

and life moves on....

CMP said...

Hi DB,

Love reading your blog...have one of my own,

I'm a fellow ex Cxxco staffer too....but I resigned and moved onto pastures new in 2008. Loved working for the company, right up until my final year. Hope that things turn out well for you and that you now have an opportunity to really follow your dreams.

Incidentally...which acquisition where you part of may I ask?

All the very best, and blue skies :-)


D.B. said...

Clayton, I will check out your blog.

I was with a small company called Navini, acquired in 2007.