Corporate Speak – Spoke Wrong Again

The Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea Company, better known as A&P has gone broke and is now bankrupt.

However, the Chairman, Gregory Mays, received a $4.6 Million pay out, and the CEO, Paul Hertz, pocketed $1.5 Million, for driving the company out of business! What a great deal for the shareholder’s!

Hertz just took over as the CEO in 2014 was made responsible for the leadership and strategic direction of A&P, and had oversight for the implementation of all business and marketing decisions (?). He was also responsible for ongoing growth (?) strategies.

The Chairman, Greg Mays, stated when appointing Hertz CEO, “Paul and his team made significant progress in 2013 in improving both the company’s operating and financial results. We believe that 2014 also holds promise for further accomplishments; we expect to capitalize and improve upon last year’s performance, which will result in a stronger company and greater value for the company’s stakeholders. Paul’s mix of operational, managerial, and retail experience makes him the ideal candidate to lead the company as we build on our operational momentum and focus on activities that will achieve projected sales results with a special focus on the needs of the customer.”

Looks like none of those wonderful expectations came to pass as a little over one year later it was obvious that A&P was headed to the junk pile of brands that were.

Here we have another classic example of “corporate speak” at its best. But even more pathetic is the rewards these two guys got for achieving nothing, and worse yet – driving the company into bankruptcy. Who really cared about the stakeholder’s? Certainly, not Greg and Paul.

How can management of any company continue to profit from, and take advantage of the shareholder’s when it was obvious years ago that there was no hope for A&P?


Robert M. Donnelly is the author of: Guidebook to Planning - A Common Sense Approach, an educator: Professor of Entrepreneurship & Innovation at Saint Peter's University, and a brand builder and marketing expert. His new book: Personal Brand Planning for life is a guide for anyone w...

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