On a rare upbeat note it is nice to once again see women in executive positions and being promoted. This is a welcome change since the days of the prior neanderthal CEO who viewed women as simply servants. Some of the folks on the executive staff are relatively new to the company. Hopefully they can drive change that the Avid old timers who have been in upper management or on the executive staff for years could not. All of the empty hot air from the long time execs did nothing for the company. But somehow they kept their enormous salaried positions while other long time, dedicated, productive employees were given their walking papers. We would have benefited by keeping the long termers who were productive rather than the long term execs who do nothing but blow hot air. Often they don't even bother coming into the office but rather work from the comfort of their home. Heaven forbid they would have to commute like the rest of us.
As proudly stated, and boasted during the verbal presentation of the Avid Technology Q2 2017 Business Update dated August 3, 2017 on Page 8, states 65% of the workforce was replaced. In the dillusionel minds of executive and upper management as well as the board of directors the company has been turned around by this action. Huh?? Where?? How?? Where did this get us? If you live on planet earth it is very evident this action got the organization nowhere. It damaged us significantly. In fact we are in worse shape now. We continue to go nowhere but down as we have the past 7-8 years. Results for the first 6 months of 2018 were worse than 2017. For 2018 - Net Loss $17,455,00 (compared to a net loss of $12,746,00 for the first 6 months of 2017). Net loss per common share negative 42 cents compared to negative 31 cents for 2017. Long term debt is now at $231,000,000 compared to $205,000,000 at the same time period in 2017. Free cash flow – negative $8.7 million. Revenue down $10 million. If we are lucky revenue for the year might hit $400 million (probably not likely). That is a very far cry from the $950 million it once was. This is all public information. You can look it up.
The Executive management staff, the board of directors and the majority of upper management (senior managers and above) tried to make the workforce the ‘fall-guy” for the organizations horrific performance and severe fall from the position of undisputed industry leader. Sorry, the workforce was never ever the issue. Not ever, ever. The employees worked hard to make the company succeed, but the strategic decisions of the executive staff, BOD, CEO’s and upper management turned Avid into an organization scrambling to survive. We have a much worse workforce now because we let go of so many longtime knowledgeable employees who knew this industry inside out from sales, marketing, product management, engineering, support etc etc perspectives. We hardly have that now. Moving a very large number of jobs to “lower cost regions” has gained us nothing and has increased unemployment in the USA. How about having some good old American pride and keep citizens of this great country employed?? Let’s not do that because the greedy executive staff will benefit from huge bonuses if we can throw more people out and move jobs elsewhere. This hasn’t worked. Nothing the management of this organization does works. These days they just blow out polite hot air about how important employees are yet they continue to show dedicated, productive long time employees the door, albeit in small numbers and as quietly as possible.
For the record – the problem has been the horrific strategic direction and execution by management. In particular the board of directors, CEO’s, the executive staff and upper management. The workforce was never, ever to blame.
The executive staff and much of upper management has been a revolving door. There has been re-org after re-org. Executive after executive who were going to turn the ship around and then are suddenly gone.
There was a time when this organization had zero debt and 100’s of millions in the bank. That was when it was run by a CEO who knew exactly what he was doing. But the board of directors forced him out. That was the beginning of the free fall (essentially the end). Nice going by the incompetent BOD.
Expect the Avid Technology Q2 2017 Business Update dated August 3, 2017 to be quickly modified and / or taken down. If that happens you can go to LHJ’s linked-in page where he states Avid was “turned around” (it was turned around alright) by replacing 70% of the staff. Truth is 70% of the staff was let go or forced out but many of those jobs were never back-filled. It was simply layoff an enormous amount of great employees and then move those responsibilities to other countries and try to do those jobs with ½ the amount of people making one-third the salary. It hasn’t worked and has damaged the organization very badly. Our front line customer support is just awful. And that is putting it nicely.
Most believe LJH destroyed Avid (and this includes the people who once bowed down to him at Avid until he was let go, at which point those same worshipers begane bad-mouthing him and blaming hime for the horrendous state of the organization.. He has accused Avid of breaching his employment agreement (stated on page 80 of the 2017 annual report). More egg on the faces of the BOD if he takes us to court. The same people on the executive staff who bowed down to him then started openly condemning him harshly once he was gone. You are no better than he is. You just say empty words now to try and gain the loyalty of the workforce, sorry it doesn’t work. No one believes or respects you. Long-time employees continue to lose their jobs. You have a 20 million fantasy cost reduction initiative and you are going to do this without throwing more people out the door?? Good luck with that. While longtime employees were being laid-off people on the executive staff were hiring and bringing back friends and giving them job titles and salaries they certainly didn’t deserve. Those people have done nothing except laugh every time they get paid (along with all the old time executive staff members and upper management. What a joke. LJH is really laughing now. All the money he was paid was an absolute blunder. The BOD let him run wild for 5-years, finally woke up and fired him for “Workplace Misconduct”. That is putting it mildly.