Thread regarding Colgate-Palmolive Co. layoffs

The story of Colgate Palmolive

Colgate Palmolive decided to have a canoe race on the Hudson River against the Unilever Company.

Both teams practiced long and hard to reach their peak performance before the race.

On the big day, the Unilever won by a mile.

The Colgate Team, very discouraged and depressed, decided to investigate the reason for the crushing defeat. A management team made up of senior leadership was formed to investigate and recommend appropriate action.

Their conclusion was that Unilever had 8 people paddling and 1 person steering, while the Colgate team had 7 people steering and 2 people paddling. Not sure that to do with this information Colgate felt a deeper study was in order, Colgate Leadership hired a consulting company that one of their board members has a stake in and paid them vast sums of money for a second opinion.

They advised, of course.... that too many people were steering the boat, while not enough people were paddling. Again, not sure of how to utilize that information, but wanting to prevent another loss to Unilever, the paddling team's management structure was totally reorganized to 4 Steering Supervisors, 2 Associate Directors of Steering, and a VP of Steering Analytics and Innovation.

Colgate also implemented a new performance system that would give the people paddling the boat greater incentive to work harder. It was called the Best place to Row Program, with meetings, bring your own lunch lunches, free pens and accolades for the paddlers. There was discussion of getting new paddles, canoes, and other equipment, extra practices, as well as bonuses.

In the end, the Best Place to Row program was trimmed and some of the resultant savings were channeled into morale boosting programs, teamwork posters, and new slogans.

The next year Unilever won by two miles.

Humiliated, Colgate management laid off one paddler, halted development of a new canoe, sold all the paddles, and cancelled all capital investments for new equipment. The money saved was distributed to the Senior Executives as bonuses and stock buyback.

The next year, try as he might, the lone designated paddler was unable to even finish the race (having no paddles), so he was laid off for unacceptable performance, all canoe equipment was sold. The next year's canoe team was out-sourced to Colgate Business Services in Warsaw Poland.

The team that lead the transition of the canoe paddling position to CBS Warsaw got a you can make a difference award for their efforts and the canoe paddling project was deemed a shining success.

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Post ID: @OP+VQ0rTWH

10 replies (most recent on top)

Colgate-Palmolive Misses Q4 Earnings, Sees 'Low Single Digit' Decline in 2019

Yet, not changes at CEO level.. How many more Quarter are required to be missed to fire entire Management team ???

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Post ID: @1trwn+VQ0rTWH

Unilever: annual turnaround ~US$60 billion

Colgate: annual turnaround ~US$15 billion

Colgate needs to know whose it's going up against. Unilever and many other companies that Colgate wants to compete against (P&G, J&J, ...) are much bigger fish than Colgate. Unilever is not interested in competing with Colgate. If anything, Unilever will buy Colgate. As the saying goes: big fish eat little fish.

Colgate wants to expand business and become more competitive by going into skin care. Yet, it does not have a single person within any managerial level who understands the skin care business (sorry, soap bars are not skincare). Seriously, NOT A SINGLE PERSON within the whole company who has good understanding/background/experience of the skin care business. If Colgate wants to succeed in skin care business, this needs to change.

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Post ID: @6kqf+VQ0rTWH

Agree .. the entire C- Suite has to go ASAP! ALL without exception... they ‘ll leave with millions but we’ll find hope for a better future!

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Post ID: @2gns+VQ0rTWH

Having just watched the webcast, I'm left with the feeling that leadership has no idea whats happening even one level below them.

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Post ID: @2wot+VQ0rTWH

Wow, this is a nearly perfect analogy to what’s been going on at Colgate. Absolutely no leadership, no clue what’s going on, and getting rid of all the people that actually made things work. Then they promoted those that don’t know what’s going on, often from foreign countries so they don’t understand the new culture and customers, to high level positions so they can basically yell at everyone actually doing the work. They don’t seem to understand there’s only 3 people left for what used to be a 10 person job, and those 3 have 2 years of experience while those that left/were fired had 15 years each.

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Post ID: @2plr+VQ0rTWH

Unfortunately Colgate’s demise started with the departure of Mr Mark. No ability, no leadership at the top. In many ways just like Sears ... no evolution of strategy or tactics. Next phase is very predictable! Too bad for the shareholders and employees...

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Post ID: @1euk+VQ0rTWH

This should be published in NY Times. Describes day-to-day at Colgate. mo--ns ruined this great Company which was built by Mr. William Colgate with his hard work.

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Post ID: @1ytj+VQ0rTWH

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