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The Last Job
Old 08-17-2018, 07:19 PM   #1
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The Last Job

Yesterday's New York Times included a "Back Story" article that cited a 1985 article about the final days of Montgomery Ward. It brought back memories.

The rise of shopping malls and the internet eventually spelled the demise of the mail order catalog. In 1985, Montgomery Ward discontinued its catalog because of persistent losses.
From the 1985 article:

Ward's catalogue operation, which includes 20 separate books with a total annual circulation of 5 million and sales last year of $1.2 billion, is the third-largest, in sales, after those of Sears, Roebuck & Company and the J. C. Penney Company.

Mr. Brennan said about 5,000 of the company's 78,000 employees would be affected by the catalogue's demise, which will involve the closing of 200 company-owned catalogue stores and 1,270 independent catalogue sales agencies.
Bernie Brennan was the President of Wards at the time and my boss. He finally convinced Rawleigh Warner who was CEO of Mobil from 1969 to 1986, that the Catalog Division should be taken down... A matter of vanity for Mr. Warner who had purchased Wards in 1976 with the intent of a great rebuild.

I was in the meeting where the final decision was made, after much, much discussion and ego padding. Remember it well, as it was where my last job was created. I was appointed special project manager in charge of closing the entire field catalog division... in total, a three year project. In all, including the catalog desks in the retail stores... over 2,000 units, in 34 states, and, despite the numbers in the article, more like 10,000 employees in all.

Just a flashback to several very busy and interesting years.

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Old 08-17-2018, 07:27 PM   #2
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That's quite a story!

Two of the companies that framed my career were Fortune 500 for many, many years. Both are gone. My last assignment in the second one was to close five large manufacturing plants and spin off the remaining facility assets. Sad stuff as many of the people I worked with on the way up to that corporate job were let go.

Saying on a Get Well card from a friend of mine after I had my second hip replacement - "Don't let the Old Man in..."
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Old 08-17-2018, 07:37 PM   #3
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I worked for the same Aerospace company for 20 years. In that industry, that is 2 lifetimes. I saw presidents come and go. I same some acquisitions so badly mismanaged that they fired the president and the retired president came back to sort it out.
The company was finally sold to an English conglomerate that used it as a cash cow.
I am soo glad I retired.
Retired Jan 2009 Have not looked back.
AA 50/45/5 considering SS and pensions a SP annuity
WR 2% SI 2SS & 2 Pensions
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