About: Bob Herbold

Recent Posts by Bob Herbold

Barnes & Noble: Watching Its Own Demise!

In what appears to be a slow-motion march toward bankruptcy, Barnes & Noble announced its recent quarterly earnings; a -5.3% revenue decline to $1.2 billion and a loss of $63.5 million. This situation reminds me very much of Kodak in the period from 1995-2010. It sat back and watched its stock price go from $90/share down to virtually nothing, as the era of digital cameras emerged.

Uber: Roadblocks When Driving Change

After a couple of years of chaotic behavior on the part of the top management of Uber, it has a new CEO who is now working hard to clean things up and to set a direction for the company. His primary area of focus is understanding what the customer base thinks should be improved, and […]

McDonalds: Why Don’t They Confront the Real Problem?

The fast food business has become extremely competitive in the U.S. over the last couple of years as McDonald’s key competitors, Wendy’s and Burger King, came out with aggressive deals to attract customers. Examples of such offers are Burger King’s deal of 10 chicken nuggets for $1.69 and Wendy’s “four for four dollar” menu, which have been extremely successful. McDonald’s has been losing U.S. market share to these aggressive players and has lost the loyalty of some of its most cost-conscience customers, according to analysts.

Morgan Stanley: Confronting the Truth!

The current Morgan Stanley CEO took his job in 2010. The company was struggling badly coming out of the 2008 recession, during which Morgan Stanley’s share price had sunk to $14. After taking a year to fully understand the nature of the business, he announced in early 2012 that “the path we are on is simply not sustainable.” He went to work by first axing Morgan Stanley’s proprietary trading desks and shrank its bond trading operations, the source of repeated blunders. He sold an oil tanker fleet and a half-finished casino, remnants of a freewheeling culture that once ruled Wall Street.

Bogus “Research,” You Won’t Believe These Examples!

I recently read a summary of a study on the “unstoppable power of leaderless organizations.” It was authored by two academics that wrote it in a style that suggested they believe they should be put on a pedestal for this astounding work. The report sings the praises of “starfish-like” organizational structures that are totally decentralized and completely dependent on peer-to-peer relationships. They claimed this inherent flexibility would lead to a big positive impact on the management of projects and the discovery of knowledge.

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