Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Quotable: It was, indeed, transformative

"With our employees, our discipline and our plan, I am confident 2007 will be as transformative as 2006.''

-- CEO Craig Dubow, a year ago, in his annual shareholders letter

(Confidential to Dubow: Transformative, eh? Your pledge in this year's letter about 2008's outlook now reads kinda ominous: "I assure you, you will see great progress.")


  1. Employees? Discipline? Plan? What is this guy talking about. We are firing employees, moral is at its lowest levels across the company. Discipline in what? Not doing anything? Not innovating? Or is it the discipline of the Bean Counter MARTORE? And exactly what Plan is he talking about? His compensation plan? His termination plan? His plan to continue to divide the company instead of integrate it?

    " transformative as 2006" I can't wait to see how "transformative" 2008 will be. The only thing being transformed is Dubow and Martore's bank accounts!!!

  2. another year that's this transformative and the company would vanish entirely. the employees are not the problem here. there aren't too many, and they're certainly not slacking. i'm not sure whose discipline he's referring to, but it's management's plan, and the results suck.

  3. Compare Dubow's yammering to this quote from today's Wall Street Journal:

    "Starbucks chairman and chief executive, Howard Schultz struck an apologetic tone at the meeting, telling the audience of at least 6,000, 'I humbly recognize and share both your concern and your disappointment in how the company has performed and how that has affected your investment in Starbucks and I promise you, this will not stand.'"

    Think there's any chance that Dubow will apologize for GCI shares losing half their value (the same as Starbucks') during the past year? Don't hold your breath.

  4. in the old days, a japanese ceo whose company tanked like gannett would have killed himself because of the dishonor. i don't suggest that to dubow -- but leaders in some other companies have refused raises or reduced their compensation pending a corporate turnaround. and many others, like the starbucks chair, have apologized, not pretended that all was well or the peons weren't slaving hard enough.

  5. Among the problems -- and there are many -- are the senior editors at our place spending their time surfing Romanesco. They love yuking it up over the bad way of other editors skewered on that site. The goal of our editors is to avoid showing up on there.

    Fear grips them.

    If they pulled some mental floss through their ears, there might just be some innovation.

    They are so terribly afraid of letting go of their power. The minor issues they obsess over. They are so entrenched in print thinking.

    Let Online drive the ship and see what happens.

  6. You mean your editors don't worry about getting skewered on Gannett Blog? ;)


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