Their workforce has been reduced by 50% (some 1,300 jobs) since March 2006 and they are reportedly looking at more cuts to come.
The Atlanta Business Chronicle recently stated that “Beazer is also evaluating the recoverability of its goodwill which could cause more impairment changes.” In simpler terms it means that their tarnished reputation and negative PR has negatively affected their market value. What’s it going to cost to fix that?
I don’t mean to kick anyone when they’re down, especially the home team, but Beazer’s corporate leadership and corporate culture appears dismal – at least to an inside outsider, which I am.
I have described in the past their lack of marketing ingenuity, absence of brand authenticity, lackluster product, and lack of a consumer concentric focus. This is in stark contrast to most of their competition that though also suffering is maintaining corporate integrity.
In this same Atlanta Business Chronicle article, the following quote appears from Ian McCarthy, Beazer president and CEO, “The housing industry continues to face the most difficult business conditions in over a decade. We maintain the view that the long-term fundamentals for housing remain compelling and that our strategic initiatives to differentiate Beazer Homes in the eyes of the consumer and to allocate capital and resources in order to enhance long-term shareholder value will position us well for the future. At the same time, we must continue to adapt to the realities of the current market by remaining disciplined in our operating approach and continuing to focus on initiatives aimed at responding to what we believe will continue to be a challenging environment in the near term.”
From the heart? That is a well prepared off-the-cuff interview. Who’s fooling who? I have this strong suspicion that was either read from a computer screen or emailed verbatim over to the reporter at the ABC. McCarthy basically said NOTHING. Yada, yada, yada, in other words.
A Washington D.C.-based shareholder, CtW Investment Group, called for Beazer’s board of directors to remove McCarthy as president and CEO citing his “failed leadership”. You just can’t disguise exemplary leadership. You also can’t survive poor leadership in a poor market.
Leadership always, always matters.