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« Unconditional Friendship | Main | …And they flew. »

May 04, 2010


Mike Goodner

Unfortunately, this is exactly what happens when many companies try to adopt Lean principles based upon the previous success of other companies that have employed it... rather than spending a significant amount of time studying and understanding the fundamental principles Lean is based upon, and then adapting them to their own company in a way that makes good business sense.

micro CEO

This comic reminds me of the story of "Chainsaw Al" who fancied himself the business champion by ruthlessly cutting thousands of jobs at his company. (Al Dunlap, who was CEO of Sunbeam in the late 1990's and this story was all over the newspapers in USA at the time.)

Wikipedia summary excerpted:
...By the end of the 1970s, as the leading American manufacturer of small appliances, Sunbeam enjoyed about $1.3 billion in annual sales and employed nearly 30,000 people worldwide.

Sunbeam went into decline through the 1990s and professional downsizer Albert J. Dunlap was recruited to turn the company around in 1996. In 1996 and 1997, Sunbeam reported massive increases in sales for its various backyard and kitchen items, but the sudden surge in demand for barbecues didn't hold up under scrutiny. An internal investigation revealed that Sunbeam was actually in severe crisis, and that Dunlap had encouraged violations of accepted accounting rules. Dunlap was fired, and under CEO Jerry W. Levin the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 2001.

Soon after Sunbeam filed for bankruptcy, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) sued Dunlap and four other Sunbeam executives, alleging that they had engineered a massive accounting fraud.

In 2002, Sunbeam emerged from bankruptcy as American Household, Inc. (AHI), a privately-held company.
AHI was purchased in September 2004 by the Jarden Corporation, of which it is now a subsidiary.

Exhibit-A: "Sunbeam to eliminate half its work force"

Exhibit-B: "Sunbeam Gives the Ax to CEO 'Chainsaw Al'",7394381

Exhibit-C: "Sunbeam files Chapter 11"

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