Thursday, January 16, 2014

De-Macaulayization - 2

This is from Japan, so strictly speaking, this isn't de-Macaulayization.   Masayoshi Son, chairman and CEO of SoftBank (SoftBank recently acquired the telco Sprint) wrote as follows:

For context, this excerpt:
After acquiring Sprint, I delivered a speech urging all employees and managers at the company to join forces with our Japanese unit and work as a single entity.

     I made the speech because I did not want to repeat the mistakes I had made running previously acquired companies in the U.S. When I took over the company that runs Comdex (Computer Dealer's Exhibition) and U.S. publisher Ziff Davis, I allowed American executives to run them at their discretion. This decision was based on my belief that Japanese owners should not interfere too much with the U.S. executives' business management. That belief was wrong.

     By leaving American executives to their own devices, I was acting as an investor and not as a business leader. This hands-off approach would never enable me to reform management of companies I acquire overseas. It doesn't matter how well a company is run, there is always room for improvement. A hands-on approach allows me to make profitable businesses more profitable.
 For the de-Macaulayization, this:
     A Japanese SoftBank executive recently made a presentation in English in Silicon Valley. His spoken English was terrible, but who cares? He was able to make himself understood. In the past, I would probably have told Japanese executives at SoftBank to focus on Japanese operations if their English was not at a high level. Not anymore.

PS: there is an old desi joke (that sounds better in Hindi), Banta Singh from an Indian village visits England and comes back very enthused - England is a really advanced country, even the children speak English!  Crudely speaking, de-Macaulayization is the shedding of that attitude.