• Fred Poses, CEO of American Standard made over $5,000,000 in 2004.
  • Last week, American Standard announced they would be selling their Kitchen and Bath division, citing poor returns.  A portion of his statement is below:
    • “We’ve come a long way since the company went public in 1995,” said Poses. “Over the past 12 years, we’ve generated average annual total shareowner returns of about 18 percent. Over the past seven years, we reduced our debt by more than $1 billion, achieved investment grade ratings, and established our quarterly dividend and subsequently increased it. At the same time, we invested in our businesses to strengthen their overall capabilities.

      “Looking to the future, our board concluded that the separation plan we are announcing today is the best way to enhance shareowner value,” said Poses. “Operating separately, the businesses will benefit from greater strategic focus, increased market recognition, improved capital flexibility, and an increased ability to attract, retain and motivate employees.”

  • The stock  is now the highest  it has ever been, teetering around $52.00
  • My dad, who has worked at American Standard for almost 30 years, will be out of a job.

Here’s what’s upsetting for me:

Mr. Poses has a wife and two kids.  My dad has a wife and two kids.

Mr. Poses goes to work every day and faces challenges.  My dad goes to work everyday and faces challenges.

Mr. Poses goes on vacation.  My dad cleans furnaces on shutdown weeks so he can make money to take care of his wife and two kids, facing more challenges.

Mr. Poses has the control to wipe hundreds of jobs away.  My dad has the control to accept this.

Me?  Well.  Deep down, I’m really Mr. Poses, aren’t I?  I have my Marketing Degree, and am working with the CCO.  After college, Mr. Poses worked for two years with the Peace Corps in Peru.  I could go right into business, and in 30 years could be taking some dad’s job away for better than 18% returns.

If anyone asks you this week, be sure to tell them the price of blue collar, working class America is about 18%.

If anyone asks you this week, be sure to tell them the price of 18% is a 51 year old having to find a new job.

If anyone asks you this week, be sure to tell them the price of a 51 year old having to find a new job is a man who for a moment spits upon his education, his economy, and his aspiriations.

…but the man sees redemption.


One Comment

  1. I’m sorry to hear about this. Five years ago, my father also lost his job in a similar fashion. He had worked for an oil refinery for almost 25 years. This was several years before oil was at an all time high and the company he worked for deemed it necessarily to further “profits” by shutting down a refinery that had basically funded an entire town for over 100 years. At the time, the company told him not to sell his shares (for about 30-40 dollars/share) in the company so as to prevent the company from being bought out. In the end, even though he listened, the higher-ups sold him out, deciding to sell their own shares and spit on the men and women who had made those shares worth something in the first place. I’m glad your father sees redemption in this, as hard as it is, because I definitely have a hard time seeing it at times.


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