It has too often been said that the business of business is to make money. That is foolish and incorrect. The only rationale for any business is that it meets a societal want or need. And, that being said, success can be dependent on the efficacy of matters such as material sourcing, manufacture, marketing, distribution, and it often comes down to being properly priced.
This subject comes to mind in reviewing some of the business news in the past year. Did you pay any attention to the fiasco at Rogers Communications? Did we learn anything from it?
What we learned was that Rogers had its start by a brilliant entrepreneur and then it stumbled after he died. Nepotism guarantees nothing. It is easy to manage the past but nobody can manage the future. Even a good gambler can only read the tells and make assumptions.
But would you bet on Rogers Communications today? And what if your financial advisor says it is a good buy? I expect many advisors are. The pending take-over of Shaw Communications is considered a slam-dunk. It is bad for consumers but nobody seems to worry about them. Even slicing off Freedom Mobile from the deal does nothing for consumers—those cut prices are probably not sustainable unless Freedom is backed by a larger company.
What is concerning is not just the Shaw and Rogers merger but the resulting management. When Ted Rogers ran his company, he took some chances and made some very smart decisions. There is no guarantee what will happen under his successor.
What we saw last year at Rogers was a one-man show that relied on advice from the company’s past. This is not forward-thinking management. What we saw was a tantrum and a family feud. It was inappropriate and badly handled.
The results, once the dust had settled were not encouraging. It makes the likely future of Rogers—with or without the Shaw acquisition—less attractive.
Copyright 2022 © Peter Lowry
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