Many of them failed and had to be wound down, many are still in a phase of decline and their future remains to be seen – but some were able to come up with a new strategy and a new organisational structure and are leaving the crisis stronger than before. This might be traced back to their superior turnaround strategy. A constant adaptation and re-examination of current strategies is no longer only a competitive advantage, but a necessity: “It is not a question of whether firms should change, but of where, how and in what direction they must change” (De Wit and Meyer, 2004:163).
This essay will therefore focus on turnaround strategies and the thus related issues. First, the concept as well as the main terms and stages will be introduced. This will be followed by a closer examination of the reasons for turnarounds in two particular companies, namely Samsung and HP, and the effectiveness of different strategies in differing situations, illustrated by examples of HP and General Motors. Finally, a conclusion shall be given. Turnaround strategies A turnaround strategy is a reorientation of an organisation experiencing a crisis.
Whereas the general corporate strategy is described as “the direction and scope of an organisation over the long term, which achieves advantage in a changing environment through its configuration of resources and competences with the aim of fulfilling stakeholder expectations” (Johnson et al. , 2008:3), and is therefore able to evolve over time, a turnaround strategy is the reaction to a sharp deterioration in performance and a worsening of the general state of the company to an extent that becomes a threat to its survival (Luffman et al. 1996:140).
Anne-Marie van Oost, Master of commercial sciences and Innovation Management, InduTec asbl/vzw, avenue Nellie Melbalaan 73, 1070 Brussels, Jacques Tichon, Dr. Ing., Haute Ecole Paul-Henri Spaak, rue Royale 150, 1000 Brussels, Summary Change involves moving from one condition to another. Change is not necessarily innovation. But an organisation that finds a fundamentally new way to reach and serve ...
White (2004) describes a turnaround strategy as a radical change in a firm’s strategy with a possible alteration of its structure and culture. Ideally, it should lead to a superior and sustainable performance in future. However, it is conceived under enormous pressure and great difficulties, and it brings the additional need for fast reactions with it, which in practice makes it a big challenge to implement a successful turnaround.
Although much research has been carried out about turnaround strategies, the measures applied and the strategy chosen are specific to each individual company and is derived from its main business, its competitive advantage and its industry characteristics. Nevertheless, they share the feature of addressing areas which must be developed to achieve a sustained recovery (Thompson, 1997:538).
Turnaround strategies are designed to bring quick results but also to contribute towards long-term growth. Different authors subdivide turnaround strategies in different stages.
Hunger and Wheelen (2007) for instance describe only two phases: contraction as the first and short term reaction, meant to “stop the bleeding”, consisting mainly of cutbacks across-the board to limit size of and costs to the organisation. The second phase called consolidation aims at stabilising the company and focuses on the reduction of costs of functional activities, e. g. overheads. However, in their approach, a turnaround is viewed as simply a type of retrenchment strategy and not a stand alone and complete new alignment and orientation of the organisation, thus reflecting an approach slightly different from other authors (e. . De Wit and Meyer, 2004:163).
Opposing to this, Johnson et al. (2008:523f) go more into detail when they describe the main elements of a turnaround strategy as follows: crisis stabilisation (short term focus on reducing costs and/or increasing sales), management changes, gaining of stakeholder support, clarifying the target markets, financial restructuring and prioritisation of critical improvement areas. They do however not stress the timely order of events, thus indicating that it might be more difficult in practice to distinguish between different phases.
The two broad turnaround strategies that may be followed by Public and Private companies are Strategic and Operating. Strategic turnarounds can be branched into activities that comprises of a change in business strategy for competing in the same business and those that involve for entering a new business or businesses. Operating strategies does not involve altering the business level strategies ...
De Wit and Meyer (2004) add to this when stressing the problem of pacing change correctly; they describe disruptive and gradual change. Usually, they are not mutually exclusive but have to be balanced well in order to achieve a sustainable turnaround. A detailed and comprehensive approach is offered by McKiernan (2006:760) who describes six stages, beginning with the causes stage, the triggers and the diagnosis stage, followed by the retrenchment phase, recovery and renewal. Each of these stages brings its own challenges and some shall be described in more detail below. Leadership and management in turnarounds
The behaviour of leaders and managers is crucial for the successful implementation of a turnaround. White (2004) states that the success of a company is usually associated with two people, the founder and the person mainly responsible for the turnaround. The outcome of the turnaround depends to a large extent on their personal abilities. Cummings and Wilson (2003:398) characterise a so-called turnarounder as “a leader who chop[s] and change[s] the basic already established characteristics of the organisation, for example emphasize[s] one or more areas of the core business and deemphasize[s] others”.
According to McKiernan (2006:784), the personalities of the people on top of the organisation further influence the capability of understanding the need for a turnaround and the speed and effectiveness with which this turnaround is carried out. The more the important people within an organisation are used to doing business in a certain way, the less likely they are to change their strategy, but rather to search short-term operational solutions in order to react to the corporate decline.
He finds that, during a decline, managers tend to react with disbelief and stick to their standard operations in order to try to improve short term results. Once they accepted the crisis, they apply a more autocratic behaviour, which reflects the need for fast and tough decisions to be made (McKiernan, 2006:786).
Sometimes, however, the managers and leaders have become so accustomed to the old way of doing business that they have to be replaced in order to allow the organisation to change. The notion of turnarounds
Emphasis is on speed of change and rapid cost reduction and/or revenue generation. Managers must prioritise things that give quick and significant improvements. Although used interchangeably, restructure is different from turnaround. ? ? Operational Turnaround The focus is on ways of improving the operation of the business and designed to halt the decline. Strategic Turnaround The focus is on ...
Although turnaround strategies are always specific to a particular company and its individual situation, industry and economic surrounding, there are common stages that can be observed in general. Corporate Decline Although it is important to recognize the decline in time, it should not be confused with a temporary deterioration of the company’s position due to the economic lifecycle. Luffman et al. (1996:140ff) describe the decline of a company as a state when there is some doubt about its survival; usually this state can be traced back to the inability of the company to generate sufficient profits.
Mc Kiernan (2006:762f) defines it as “an unintentional contraction of the strategic discretion of the firm’s executives”; thus as being an external force that reduces the freedom of action of the managers. He adds that declines can be broken down into four groups: “a deterioration in the resources or stock variables… a deterioration in performance or flow variables … a deteriorating ability to adapt to changing external and internal pressures and as a stage in the organisational life cycle”. Whereas the first two can be diagnosed on the basis of the financial data available, the latter two are more difficult to recognise.
Symptoms of corporate decline In general, there is the danger that symptoms are taken for causes, which might lead to a flawed new orientation. It is crucial to distinguish the two, as the symptoms are only the outside effects of the underlying causes, and it is essential to fight the causes and not the symptoms in order to regain a sustainable strategy. Whereas Luffman et al. (1996:140-145) describe the symptoms as becoming evident in the finance and marketing figures, McKiernan (2006:764-766) divides them into two groups, namely public and private symptoms.
The public symptoms relate to financial information about the company and are thus visible to outside parties (companies therefore tend to distort the picture to appear as favourable as possible).
Additionally, there are private symptoms that pertain to the human capital of the firm e. g. personnel turnover. Those are more difficult to measure, but are also part of the overall deterioration of the company’s state. Causes of Decline Overall, the identification of the causes of the decline is essential; however that is much harder to do in reality than in theory and hindsight (McKiernan, 2006:788).
At this point, there is a downturn in the market. For example, more innovative products are introduced or consumer tastes have changed. There is intense price cutting, and many more products are withdrawn from the market. Profits can be improved by reducing marketing spending and cost cutting. As sales decline, the firm has several options: * Maintain the product, possibly rejuvenating it by ...
White (2004) describes the main reasons for a turnaround as poor management at any level, overexpansion, lack of financial control (with the result of high costs), new competitors, unforeseen changes in tastes and/or organizational inertia. Opposing to this view, McKiernan (2006:768-771) identifies the primary and main cause of decline of a company as the failure of an organisation to learn and adapt to a changing environment, and only after that, as secondary causes, to more detailed failures in the operational side of business, subdivided into financial and managerial conduct and a change in demand conditions.
Retrenchment Problems Even though retrenchment is usually the first reaction of a company in decline (which is logical as obtaining a positive cash flow is a clear necessity), it should be carefully tailored to the individual needs of the company in question. It consists of either cost or asset reduction with the aim of halting the decline and to give the management time to think about longer-term objectives and a new strategic direction. Ideally, the retrenchment should already be linked to the targeted turnaround strategy of the firm, e. g. f it is agreed to pursue growth, costs will be cut in different areas as if an increase in efficiency within the existing structures is decided (McKiernan, 2006:790f).
Possible problems are the danger of cutting too much costs in areas essential to the business and of loosing people important to it (e. g. in marketing) and a deterioration of employee’s attitude who have to cope with the uncertainty that the cost cutting brings with it. Recovery Strategy Recovery describes the stage in which the company has reached a phase of stability through the retrenchment process.
The form of the recovery is again unique to each firm and depends on numerous factors. McKiernan (2006:794) describes two main recovery strategies: efficiency oriented strategies can consist e. g. of the liquidation of subsidiaries, divestment and an overall improvement of efficiency and is applied when the causes for the decline are internal. Entrepreneurial strategies, e. g. market penetration, new product developments and acquisitions, are chosen when the decline was caused externally. It is important in this phase that the management does not hold on to their old convictions of how to do business, but allow a new strategy to be developed.
1. Continental Airlines, like other companies in the airline industry, is a volatile organization. However, Continental has many strengths that have allowed it to prevail through tough times and avoid complete ruin. The CEO of Continental Airlines played an important role in reviving the company. His "Go Forward Plan" vocalized the strategy of the company and focused on every aspect of the ...
Leadership is here “one of the critical elements of recovery” (McKiernan, 2006:797).
Whereas during a turnaround, a more autocratic style and good “motivational skills, powerful communication ability, flexibility, excellent diagnostic and analytical ability under time constraints, ability to work to a punishing schedule under duress and fast implementation skills” (McKiernan, 2006:798ff) are needed, as soon as the company obtains stability a more democratic and softer approach is more rewarding. This might be difficult to apply for the same managers. As always, this is much easier in theory than in practice, as
McKiernan (2006:795) points out: “In practice, the actual number of generic recovery strategies a firm needs to employ is considerably greater than the actual number of causes of decline”. Recovery strategies can sometimes be helped by luck or external factors, as there might be a boost for the turnaround of the company resulting from a change in conditions in the outside environment of the firm, e. g. a cyclical upturn in demand or the exit of competitors. Renewal Strategy As the final stage, the renewal strategy shows if the turnaround has been successful or not.
McKiernan divides two main important parts of it: the regaining of a good recovery that can be measured by indicators and the introduction of an organisational culture which is able to steadily learn and improve. This point will further be discussed under the effectiveness of turnaround strategies. The reasons of a firm to turnaround Although the decline as such would be reason enough to rethink the current strategy and reorganise the company’s structure, it is normally a steady and ongoing process. Old routines and operations are so persistent that a concrete reason is needed to finally trigger the change.
Generally, it can be said that a crisis hitting the firm and a deterioration of its performance below a certain level that is internally accepted are the main reasons for a turnaround, as stakeholders then tend to demand a far-reaching change in strategy and operations. The performance can of course be measured in different ways, e. g. as mentioned above, Luffman et al. (1996:140) describe the main reason for a turnaround as the inability to produce sufficient profits; and Hunger and Wheelen (2007:99) add to this a weak competitive position of a few or the complete range of products.
Both Samsung and Apple are the largest manufacturers of smart phones in the world. Combined, the two technology giants’ account for more than half of the Smartphones sold world wide. Traditional cell phones had very limited computing abilities. Many of them were designed to offer basic services like making and receiving calls. As time went by, the need for mobile devices with superior ...
Opposing to this view, McKiernan (2006:776) refers to the reasons as triggers, and he argues that a deterioration of performance is never enough as those levels tend to be shifted downwards to meet reality; only when it falls below a level that was concretely aspirated, a change will be implemented. However, it depends on the characteristics of the managers responsible if the need for change is spotted early enough to enable the company to leave the crisis on time. When discussing real world examples of the appliance of turnaround strategies, the diversity of reasons might ecome a bit clearer. Two examples shall be used to give a more comprehensive impression of different reasons for turnarounds, followed by different strategies: Samsung, which focused on an internal reorganisation and HP that merged with Compaq in order to join forces. The Samsung Group is a well-known and highly diversified South-Korean conglomerate (cheabol).
Nowadays, it is famous for high-end goods with an innovative design (Ichlwan et al. , 1999).
The success of the company is based on its ability to change and to respond to changes in its business environment properly.
In 1996, the Samsung Group had to face two unfavourable changes in its business surrounding: a crash in memory chips prices which hit it hard as at that point of time nearly 90 per cent of the profits of the branch Samsung Electronics were retrieved from the production of those, as well as the Asian financial crisis starting just one year later; this naturally affected the whole conglomerate. As described by the CEO of Samsung Electronics, it was ‘a near-death experience’ (Edwards et al. , 2005).
In response, Samsung Electronics started to implement a turnaround strategy. The main problems identified were poor supply chain management, a focus on growth at the cost of profitability, a high level of debt and an excessive number of employees. Furthermore, strategic decisions had been based on non-economic motivations. The turnaround strategy applied addressed all aforementioned issues and was started with the process of financial reconstruction. Samsung put much effort into the reduction of debt; a tighter financial control was introduced.
The company focused only on core business activities; in turn, non-performing assets were sold and the number of employees was reduced by one third. Going global was a part of new strategy; emphasis was put on the development of new products and the diversification of the portfolio. The company re-focused and concentrated on high-end customers, targeting overseas markets, mostly the US and China. A ‘profits first’ strategy and introduction of just-in-time technique were further important elements of the new strategy (White, 2004, p. 754-759).
It can be said that Samsung tailored the strategy to its specific needs, and left the crisis successfully, as the results of this turnaround helped Samsung Electronics to become a global giant in electronics. The changes that took place within the company are displayed in greater detail in the figures in Appendix 1. Hewlett and Packard (HP) is a global provider of computers and imaging solutions who, prior to 2002, focused on making imaging and computer technology. During May 2002, however, HP acquired Compaq, a leading provider of enterprise technology and solutions, to enlarge its product offerings and increase the overall scale.
The aim was to combine the value and performance of the two firms in order to complement each other’s weaknesses and to thus attain a competitive position (HP website, 2010).
Additionally, it would enable HP to gain immediate access to new emerging markets. The reasons for that merger were a result of deterioration in the HP’s overall performance (Wall Street Journal, 2001); they especially struggled to keep up with competition and rising costs, economical external pressure and internal problems like a need for cost cutting and lack of management skills.
Following that merger, a reorganisation was needed, consisting of downsizing of staff, elimination of overlapping products, a change of the top management ( with brought HP a new CEO with a new management style which proved to be very favourable for the company), a new focus on the product innovation and customer loyalty as well as on long-term growth. The new HPQ created from this merger agreement was an $87 billion global technology leader. This company offered the industry’s most complete set of IT products and services for all kinds of customers, businesses and individuals.
The combined company had number one worldwide revenue positions in PCs, hand-helds, imaging and printing, IT services, storage and management software. So although the reasons as well as the applied strategies of these two companies were different, both engaged in a turnaround strategy in order to improve their position; and both did it successfully. The effectiveness of a turnaround strategy The difficulty in evaluating the effectiveness of a strategy certainly is the long-term focus inherent to them.
Surely the short-term results are important as stability has to be regained, but a good and sufficient turnaround strategy requires the organisation to learn from the crisis on the long-term. Again, different authors take complementing positions. Thompson (1997:532-534) identifies four possible outcomes of a turnaround process, namely non-recoverable situations, short-term survival, mere survival and sustainable recovery. Non-recoverable situations are likely to occur when a company is not competitive and its potential for improvement is low due to overall business conditions or externalities.
Temporary recovery is likely to occur when a company operates within unattractive and declining industry. Even if costs are reduced and additional revenues are generated, due to the decline of a whole sector, the company is unable to improve its financial position in the long-term. It is then important that the company reinvests the cash generated from the retrenchment and diversifies and expand new market segments. In the case of mere survival, turnaround is achieved but there is little further growth. This outcome may be expected within industries that are in slow decline or are generally unprofitable and competitive.
Sustained recovery is likely to be a result of a genuine and successful turnaround, e. g. development of a new product or market re-positioning. This kind of recovery may happen when a company operates in strong, effective market and problems were caused by poor management rather than by decline in the whole industry. Slatter (in Thompson 1997:532) adds three main conditions necessary to achieve a sustainable recovery state to this, namely asset reduction in order to generate cash, a new strategic leader and the implementation of better financial control systems.
Shaughnessy and Harrigan (2009) stress the importance of the commitment of many parties for the outcome of a turnaround strategy, e. g. shareholders, suppliers, employees, distributors, creditors and customers. The company, in order to complete a turnaround process, often needs additional funding which again can be provided by stakeholders. Tolerant suppliers who may agree to extend credit, motivated employees who are willing to implement necessary changes and loyal customers should be considered as factors that may influence the final result of turnaround process and should not be overlooked.
According to McKiernan (2006:800), the evaluation of a turnaround strategy consists of two parts. On the one hand, there are characteristics which can be traced back to the actions taken in the retrenchment and recovery phase; he therefore identifies seven performance indicators for a good recovery and an effective turnaround: good management, appropriate organisation structure, effective financial and other controls, sound product-market posture, good marketing management, a maintained high quality, and tightly controlled costs.
However, in order to not only gain a short-term stability, the organisation must learn something from the crisis to gain a sustainable recovery. The second and very important point is therefore the establishment and nourishing of a learning culture, in which “the organisation learns through exploitation…exploration…mutation” and has to “constantly maintain and develop the routines within each” (McKiernan, 2006:803-805).
As firms can no longer allow themselves to be inflexible, they must accept and adapt to the fact that “change must become the norm” (ibid).
A look at examples from real companies can again be quite helpful in order to show the diversity of the outcomes of a turnaround strategy. In the case of HP, the merger was expected to create cost synergies reaching approximately $2. 5bn annually and deliver a significantly improved cost structure. Looking at the short-term results and improvements (see Appendix 3), the immediate results did not all look as favourable as hoped for. The gross as well as the operating profit margin had declined, mainly due to the external pressure HP had to deal with as well as an increase in cost.
However, the debt/equity ratio fell, too, as HPQ was able to repay some of its debt, which is a sign for a regaining of the cost control; one of the indicators McKiernan mentioned for an effective turnaround. When looking at the long-term results, HPQ is currently performing pretty well. In 2006, it had shown an annual revenue of $91. 7bn, making it the world’s largest technology company in terms of marketing and sales. It has proven that the “massive integration” efforts after the merger were successful and led to higher revenues and profits for the combined firm.
HP had not only improved its position in major core markets, but also, according to a IDC report, it had heavily benefited from the cultural integration during that merger. The turnaround strategy applied has worked out and been beneficial for the whole organisation. (Edgar-online).
However, turnaround strategies can also fail dramatically, as can be shown at the example of General Motors (GM).
It had incurred huge losses due to the financial crisis of 2007/8 which resulted in a reluctance in the end-consumers to spend (a loss of $38. bn in 2007 and was also heavily indebted).
Selling luxury products and fuel consuming vehicles, it was additionally hit hard by the rising oil prices. A retrenchment strategy included selling the less successful brands and the dismissal of employees. Several restructuring programmes in different areas and branches as well as several turnaround strategies were proposed, but none of them resulted in the needed turnaround ( for more details, see Appendix 4).
Even state aid for some subsidiaries and the parental company did not help to attain a healthy recovery. GM had to file for bankruptcy procedures in 2009 and are now owned by the Canadian and the US governments. They are continuing to cut jobs and are planning to pay back the governments the credit and state aid they received, but they still are suffering shortcomings and facing difficulties, and the final outcome remains to be seen. Conclusion Turnaround strategies are as diverse and manifold as the companies there are.
Although common features can be observed, it is very difficult to recognise the need for a turnaround in time and restructure the whole organisation appropriately to regain a sustainable situation. The development of a turnaround strategy is an interplay between numerous factors individual to each business, so common rules and guidelines are hard to come by. The characteristics of the CEO, the management team and the stakeholders are very influential as well as the particular reasons for the corporate decline, the prevailing corporate culture or the surrounding economic conditions at that point in time.
This essay might have shown that, although a lot of research has been carried out about turnaround strategy, the authors sometimes disagree in main points; and the tailoring of the individual strategy is very difficult in practice and not always crowned with success. Especially the latest global financial crisis has demonstrated that it is not easy to react to critical situations – and the future will hopefully set more examples of successful and innovative ways of how companies can turn a bad situation around and leave a dangerous decline to regain healthy growth and a sustainable recovery.
Appendix 1: Samsung The results of its turnaround helped Samsung Electronics to become a global giant in electronics. The changes that took place within the company are displayed in the figures below. Figure 1 Breakdown of sales (in KRW bn) – increasing diversification of product portfolio secures cash flows from different business sectors and markets Source: Samsung Electronics Annual Report 1998, 1999, 2000 Figure 2 total sales (USD mn) Source: Samsung Electronics Annual Report 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004
Figure 3 R&D expenses (KRW bn) – shift from imitator to innovator, increase in R&D expenditure and the number of people involved in R&D process Source: Samsung Electronics Annual Report 1997, 1998, 1999 Figure 4 debt to equity ratio – reducing external debt as a result of strict financial control, profitability as a main aim Source: Samsung Electronics Annual Report 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002 Figure 5 Comparison of domestic and overseas sales – going global, focus on overseas markets Source: Samsung Electronics Annual Report 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003 Appendix 2: HP
Reorganisation after the merger with Compaq Cost cutting: layoffs of 15000 jobs. Elimination of overlapping products: Products that appear on the product lists of two or more separate groups of countries are eliminated for the purpose of combining the groups in a single multilateral organisation. Top management change: CEO change with the objective of meeting the challenge for change and to keep HP on its goal to become the world’s leading information technology company, Chairman and CEO Carly Fiorina stepped down n February 2005, and Mark Hurd was named CEO and president in March).
Psychological Strategy : “not to deal with the past, but to look to the future”, based on metrics and other performance. Invent new technology and services: To create social benefits and customer lives. Increased customer loyalty Solving technological issues: implementation of user testing and bench marking. More focus on long-term growth opportunities: R&D investments, technologies for being constantly connected, always personal mobile experiences, and an abrupt change from analogue to digital.
The most important factor of HP’s turnaround however is Hurd’s personality and management style. The friendly style and hierarchical communication approach played a vital role. STRATEGIC ANALYSIS: Industry Challenges: HP’s key element in global citizenship is to design products and services that are socially and environmentally responsible throughout the product’s life cycle. Central to this challenge is managing product design to meet various regulations that affect the design of their products.
These regulations can be inconsistent from one jurisdiction to another, may not always be clearly defined, or may not easily accommodate design lead times. HP actively works with governments, industry partners and other stakeholders to attempt to harmonize these regulations and achieve their shared environmental goals in a manner that is consistent with technological innovation. HP’s business strategy and mission statement is to provide customers with superior products, services and overall experiences by providing leading-edge technologies that work seamlessly together.
HP seeks to be a leader in each of the specific product and service categories in which they compete and to expand actively into new and adjacent markets. To achieve this, they use a so-called adaptive enterprise platform, revolving around the four points of emphasizing standardization, virtualization, simplification and modularity and integration. Designing with these principles is supposed to provide the most cost-effective infrastructures that can flexibly adapt to changing business dynamics.
World class cost structures and processes across their entire portfolio of businesses : HP focused on leveraging their scale to maximize purchasing efficiency and leveraging their global footprint to maximize technical expertise and cost structure improvements available in different regions around the world. They compete based on: Technology, performance, price, quality, reliability, brand, distribution, range of products and services, account relationships, customer service and support and etc. Effectiveness of the turnaround
During 2001, when the CEO of HP argued that the combined company would be able to meet the customer demand for “solutions capability on a truly global basis. ” She also claimed that the firm would be able to lead with its products “from top to bottom, from low end to high end. ” As her crowning argument, she pointed that the merger made sense because it would create “synergies that are attracting. ” The new HPQ created from this definitive merger agreement was an $87 billion global technology leader. This company offered the industry’s most complete set of IT products and services for all kinds of customers: businesses and individuals.
The combined company held number one worldwide revenue positions in PCs, hand-helds, imaging and printing, IT services, storage and management software. The merger was expected to create cost synergies reaching approximately $2. 5 billion annually and deliver significantly improved cost structure. Based on both companies’ past data , the new HP would have approximate pro forma assets of $56. 4 billion, annual revenues of $87. 4 billion and annual operating earnings of $3. 9 billion. It would also have operations in more than 160 nations and over 145,000 employees worldwide.
In the meanwhile HP had encountered the biggest problem during the process of buying Compaq, was the decision of which of the tech giants computer products to keep and which ones to eliminate. Together, HP and Compaq produced many kinds of common products, many products are based on proprietary technology. Business analysts agreed that the merged company wouldn’t be able to sell all of the products. The merger would result in HP shareholders having 64% of the stock in the newly formed concern. HP-Compaq would be the world’s leading company in all sorts of computer hardware (ranging from Printers, Personal Computers and Unix Servers).
Fig (1) : Revenue, assets and operating earnings (Dollars in Billion) Source: http://www. hp. com/hpinfo/newsroom/press/2001/index. html, press release issued on September 3, 2001 Ratio analysis: The Gross-Profit Margin, in 2002 was 28. 34%, by 2006, however, it had comparatively decreased to 24. 29%. HPQ earned a gross profit of 24. 29 in 2006. The decline was slow but steady, mainly due a reduction in the price of its computers in order to compete with Dell. The Operating-Profit Margin, in 2002 was 6. 64%, whereas in 2006, it had declined to 5. 47% due to change in management structure.
It mainly involves new costs. The Debt/Equity ratio in 2002 was 28. 34, whereas, in 2006 it plummeted down to 17. 66. During that time HPQ repaid some of its debts. The Current Ratio in 2002 was 1. 53, in 2006, however, it decreased to 1. 45. This is very slight decrease, and HPQ was still in a position to pay-off it’s short-term debts as and when they fell due. It decreased due to spending more of it’s revenue on expanding its businesses. (yahoo finance, 2010) HPQ today: Today, HPQ is performing much better than anyone had envisioned. In 2006, it had shown $91. billion in annual revenue as compared to $91. 4 billion for IBM which is more interesting, making it the world’s largest technology company in terms of marketing and sales. It had been clearly shown that both the firms had finally undertaken “massive integration” efforts and moved the joined company proceeded to higher revenues and profit . Furthermore, HP had improved its position in major core markets . Moreover according to a IDC report HPQ had heavily benefited from cultural integration. The infusion of Compaq’s fast-paced culture helped to improvise it’s business dramatically.
Appendix 3: Possible outcomes of a turnaround strategy according to Luffman et al. The possible outcomes of implementation of turnaround strategy are plotted in the figure below. turnaround strategies adopted sustainable recovery mere survival short-term survival failed turnaround financial position non-crisis crisis Figure 1 Types of recovery situations Source: Luffman G. , Lea E. , Sanderson S. , Kenny B. (1996).
Strategic management. An analytical introduction. Oxford, Blackwell Publishers, p. 144 Appendix 4: General Motors Description of the situation prior to GM’s bankruptcy:
In 2007, GM generated the biggest loss in the company history ($38. 7bn) and it was heavily indebted. Sales decreased due to a rise in petrol prices and a crisis-owed reluctance to spend as well as the credit crunch forced the company to restructure. The reaction of the company was the sale of the brand “Hummer” and the cutting of 47. 000 jobs, as well as an application for government support. However the situation worsened when the subsidiary Saab went bankrupt and Opel needed state aid ( to the amount of €3. 3bn).
A further loss was incurred in 2008 ($30. 9bn), the state aid of $13. bn proved to be not sufficient. Share price fell by 87. 21%. Plans were made to abandon Pontiac and to focus on the core brands GMC, Buick, Cadillac and Chevrolet, but selling Saab, Hummer and Saturn. (Financial Times, 2010) In 2009 finally, GM had to face insolvency. As it was too big to fail, two governments intervened, and two new companies were created: the first was basically a transformation of General Motors Corporation to Motors Liquidation Company, and another one called General Motors Company (of which the USA obtained 60. 8% and Canada 11. 7).
Motors Liquidation Company sold all he relatively successful brands to General Motors Company which will be kept, and the less successful branches were liquidated (General Motors, 2010).
The outcome still remains to be seen. Currently, GM is still cutting jobs, and even though plans exist to pay the governments the aid received back, they still are suffering shortcomings and facing difficulties, e. g. they had to recall many of their Chevrolets this year due to problems with the steering wheel. (Financial Times, 2010) Word Count: 4. 388 References: Cummings S. , Wilson D. (2003).
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