In 2008 when InBev, the global beer giant, acquired Anheuser-Busch, literally the king of beers in the USA, there was real skepticism about the ability of the merged organization to be financially viable. The task of putting these two together was huge, given that the new organization had two of everything and the culture of Anheuser-Busch was so strong.
Bob's Gutsy Leadership Blog
Archive for September, 2013
After going over the basic data of historical and current revenue, costs, profits, and market shares, and doing a whole bunch of interviews at all levels of the organization, it was clear that the problem was excess costs, lack of focused efforts to generate wins in the marketplace, and a culture dominated by politeness, confidence and tranquility. In a word, the place was totally complacent. The CEO was the personification of this culture. Nobody dared to stand up and state the obvious: they were bloated, boring and stale!
By 2007 Hyundai started winning J. D. Power awards and has been doing so regularly ever since. In 2012 they became the #5 auto manufacturer globally.
Why the misperception? It was due to the fact that IBM never thought of itself as a software company and did not even have a unified software strategy. Software to IBM was simply one part of a hardware-based offering. Since every computer needs an operating system, and most need databases, and transactional processing capability, IBM had built many of these software assets but never viewed them as a unique business. Rather, they were buried inside IBM hardware or sold as an add-on feature.