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Turnaround Expert, But Which Way?

Marc Andreessen (spell that last name three times fast!), one of the founders of Netscape and considered the father of the browser, recently published a quick tutorial to turning big companies around. I came across the item on ZDNet.

I was ready to skewer Mr. Andreessen (when I covered Netscape, I had Andreessen's name on a hot key so I wouldn't screw it up) because his company got thoroughly clobbered by Microsoft. Who is he to give turnaround advice?

But before I criticize a major industry figure (who can sue me without checking his bank balance), I like to do a little research.

It turns out (cut/paste) Andreessen (end paste) is a winner. Netscape, even in its weakened state, sold for $4.5 billion to AOL and Sun. After Netscape, (cut/paste) Andreessen (end paste) started Loudcloud. He sold the Loudcloud hosting business to EDS and used to rest to form what is now Opsware. Opsware sales have nearly doubled every year for the past four years, though it's still losing money.

What really deflated my plans to rip (cut/paste) Andreessen (end paste) apart is the fact that this advice is rather excellent (damn you, [cut/paste] Andreessen [end paste]!)

In his blog, (cut/paste) Andreessen (end paste) advises large company CEOs to:

  • Stop talking to the press and figure out the company's problems.
  • Once you have them figured out, announce your new strategy and then stop talking to the press again.

He also advises making layoffs fast and deep, and putting your best people on the most important projects. Here's the blog.

Posted by Doug Barney on June 25, 2007 at 11:52 AM


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