The Coach Who Got Poached
Jared Gordan sat across from his VP of sales, Stan Simpson, in disbelief. “Let me make sure I understand,” said Jared. “You’ve accepted a job with Hank’s division starting next week?” “I’m sorry,” said Stan, unable to look Jared in the eye.“ I just couldn’t pass up this chance. Hank Dodge has offered to make me regional VP of marketing and sales for his division.” Jared felt his jaw lock. Hank hadn’t said a word to him about offering Stan a position. Since when was it okay for a division president to poach from another division without so much as a telephone call? Despite his anger, Jared was determined to maintain his cool in front of Stan. “Have you already said yes to Hank?” asked Jared, hoping that maybe he could talk Stan out of his decision. “Yes,” Stan said quietly. Then he added, “But the new person you bring in can call me anytime with questions. I’d be happy to help with the transition. You’ve been a great boss—a really great boss—and I appreciate everything you’ve done for me.” Jared thanked Stan for his offer as he walked with him toward the office door. It was an offer he had heard before, but that didn’t make it any less sincere. The Last Straw
Jared Gordan was the president of the Industrial Products Division of Compunext Corporation, a $2.5 billion company that made electronic components. His division focused mostly on components used in machinery and in process controls for major manufacturing firms. The division was one of the company’s smallest, representing only about 15% of Compunext’s sales. When Jared joined Industrial Products four years ago, it had been in bad shape. For three straight years, income had been declining and ROE had been in the 3% to 5% range. Jared was brought in to turn around the division, and he did just that. Jared began his turnaround efforts by conducting customer and competitor analyses that allowed his team to pare the division’s products by half and retain only the most profitable...
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