Want ooit was het ook bij IBM zo dat ‘balancing profits between the well-being of employees and the nation’s interest is a necessary duty for companies. ….. We acknowledge our obligation as a business institution to help improve the quality of the society we are part of” .
De laatste jaren kan ik uit persoonlijke observatie melden dat dit (helaas) niet meer zo is. ‘Maximizing shareholder value’ is de enige drijfveer van Wall Street en bedrijven als IBM. Of zoals de huidige CEO het stelt in het 2012 jaarverslag: “IBM needs to deliver long-term value and performance for all key IBM stakeholders — investors, clients, employees and society.”
De meetlat? ‘Nearly doubling earnings per share, to $20.’
Wel duidelijk! Toch?
Ondertussen werken in Endicott (waar IBM ooit ontstond ruim 100 jaar terug) nog maar 700 mensen voor IBM, waar het er ooit meer dan 10.000 waren. Vooruitgang?
Dit was dit de koersontwikkeling van IBM, dus Wall Street kan tevreden zijn.
We doubled our profits but Virgin shares started to slip and, for the first time in my life, I was depressed. Then there was a huge stock-market crash. Shares dropped fast. It wasn’t my fault, but I felt I was letting down all the people who had bought Virgin shares. Many were friends and family as well as our staff. But many were like the couple who had given me their life savings.
I made up my mind. I have always made fast decisions and acted on my instinct. I would buy all the shares back – at the price everyone had paid for them. I didn’t have to pay that much, but I didn’t want to let people down. I personally raised the £ 182 million needed, but it was worth my good name and my freedom.
The day that Virgin became a private company again was like landing safely after a record attempt in a powerboat or a balloon. I felt nothing but relief. Once again, I was the captain of my ship and master of my fate. I believe in myself. I believe in the hands that work, in the brains that think, and in the hearts that love.