|Well known brand name. If it can be had at the right price. It might fit complementary with Warren Buffett's See's Candies business. It however doesn't fit his hands off approach. It will need help to turn it around in chapter 11.|
9.7 MILLION TO RE-RUN HARRY & DAVID
Posted on March 16, 2011 at 6:18 PM
YOU ARE THE PEG IN THE WALL, UPON WHICH YOUR
FAMILY'S HONOR HANGS
" The company announced that it had replaced Steven J. Heyer, brought on a year ago, with restructuring specialist Kay Hong who also will serve as interim chief executive. "
CEO STEVE HEYER FORMERLY OF STARWOOD HOTELS " was forced out after the company's board lost confidence in his leadership. And a lot more than his pride was injured -- under the terms of his contract, his conduct made him ineligible for $35 million in severance compensation. "
LIVING IN GEORGIA...WAS CEO OF HARRY AND DAVID'S OF PHOENIX-MEDFORD, OREGON
PAID $ 9.7 MILLION DOLLARS PER YEAR.
HE BRINGS ABOARD ROSS KLEIN - - ACCUSED OF ESPIONAGE AGAINST STARWOOD HOTELS WHEREIN HILTON SETTLED FOR 75 MILLION.
" The unprecedented case started in 2008 when Starwood charged that Hilton - and two former Starwood executives (Ross Klein) who had joined Hilton's luxury hotel development team - stole documents to help Hilton develop its own version of Starwood's successful W hotel chain (Denizen) and rush it to market. A federal investigation was launched in April 2009 into the allegations, at which time Hilton grounded efforts to develop Denizen. Newly filed court documents show that Hilton and Starwood's agreement:
Bans Hilton until January 2013 from developing a hotel brand that would compete in the same category as Denizen, the W-style hotel that it tried to develop using information.
Requires Hilton to make payments to Starwood; no sum is disclosed.
Calls for Hilton to be supervised until January 2013 by two federally appointed monitors to, Starwood says, "assure that the conduct that occurred does not occur again."
The New York Times reports that, as part of the pact, Hilton agreed to pay $75 million to Starwood; Starwood is also entitled to another $75 million in hotel management contracts, although the story does not elaborate on how that might work. "
and ELLIS JONES OF WASSERSTEIN & CO. BUY OUT HARRY & DAVID'S :
" New York buyout firm Wasserstein & Co. bought the Harry & David seven years ago for an estimated $260 million from Yamanouchi Pharmaceutical Co..
Soon after Wasserstein's purchase, Harry & David began filing its financial reports with the Securities and Exchange Commission in preparation for an initial public offering. Sales picked up, peaking at close to $600 million in 2007. And Harry & David's long-term debt grew from zero to around $200 million, an amount, Wasserstein's CEO Ellis Jones has said seemed appropriate for its performance.
Then, of course, the economy began to rot. "
' Several former employees pointed to those varied -- and at times conflicting -- missions that distracted the company from its goals and drained away its coffers."
Looking for a quick fix to boost sales, the company bought Wolferman's, another direct-marketing company that sold English muffins and breakfast treats, for $22.8 million in January 2008. Later that summer, it bought Cushman's Fruit Co., a direct-marketer of citrus products, for $8.5 million.
"Frankly, I wonder how many people are buying English muffins online," said Renee Fellman, a Portland-based turnaround executive. An ailing company may attempt an acquisition to survive, she said, or it may roll out a price increase or hire of a new leader.
"In the case of Harry & David," she said, "They have done all of those things."
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Wasserstein fired Williams and brought in Heyer, a former CEO of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc., and president and chief operating officer of Turner Broadcasting System Inc.
BUT WILLIAMS LANDED ON HIS FEET AT DANNER BOOT COMPANY
AKA: LACROSSE FOOTWEAR:
DANNER / LACROSSE WHO HIRED THE ASHLAND AIRPORT OUTFIT TO FILM THEIR
" BOOT COMMERCIAL "
Brief Biography: " Mr. William H. Williams is a Director of Lacrosse Footwear,Inc in January 2006. Mr. Williams is the retired President and CEO of Harry & David Holdings, Inc., a multi-channel specialty retailer and producer of branded premium gift-quality fruit and gourmet food products and gifts. Mr. Williams served as President and CEO of Harry & David for 12 years before being promoted in 2000 to President and COO of Yamanouchi Consumer, Inc. (YCI), the holding company for Harry & David and Shaklee. He was named CEO of YCI in 2002, and in 2004 returned as President and CEO of Harry & David following the sale of Harry & David to Wasserstein & Co. Prior to joining Harry & David, he held several senior executive positions at Neiman Marcus. Mr. Williams has served on the Oregon Economic Development Commission, the Oregon International Trade Commission and the Oregon Board of Higher Education. He has also served on the boards of directors of several corporations and not-for-profit groups. "
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"We just did not have in place the team with the creativity and imagination to execute it," Jones said.
" After years of slowing sales, missed opportunities and most recently, corporate implosions and finger-pointing, one of Oregon's most drooled-over brands appears headed toward bankruptcy.
The undoing of Harry & David Holdings Inc. has played out painfully over the past year at its headquarters in Medford, where the 101-year-old gourmet gift basket company is one of the region's top employers.
Two rounds of layoffs stripped away 200 jobs across its operations. A shake-up in the corporate office liquidated nearly two dozen of its top leaders, including longtime executive Bill Williams and, on Friday, its CEO. Net income dropped over the past four years, dragged down in part by the millions in interest due on debt its parent company piled on after its 2004 purchase. "
"worker oversees a chocolate line at the Harry & David factory in Medford. The 101-year-old company, which has around 1,000 employees, has hired on firms to help it evaluate potential funding to stay in business. The company's total sales declined by 12.8 percent to $426.8 million last year compared to 2009."
" Actually, senior managment of Harry and David should have been totally revamped over a decade ago, before Yamanouchi sold to Wasserstein. The intergrated systems failures within the company are well know and legend in Medford. From the infamous BCSS fiasco in 1994 to the HR/Finance PeopleSoft implosion in 2000, the company has no capability to get an accurate, efficient accounting for fruit, inventory, order forcasting, WIP or logistics.
This is a company that could never get the brick and mortar retail to work at 8 stores so they gre to 135 stores. During packing season, whole lines sit idle and workers sit because inventory can't be found. At the end of the shift, culls are't counted, the tallys are made to match what Finance models say they should be. Millions are wasted annually on mail order marketing to non buyers. Even after the rounds of lay-offs, there are too many Sr. VP's and VPs. "
FROM $ 1.4 MILLION A YEAR TO
10 MILLION A YEAR TO RUN HARRY AND DAVID'S