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Old 03-31-2019, 12:53 PM
 
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It seems like everyone has something negative to say about private equity, probably because of ignorance.

However, given the PE owns specific companies....what is it like to work for a company OWNED by a private equity firm?
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Old 03-31-2019, 01:12 PM
 
Location: Pittsford, NY
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I had a pretty varied career, but at one point I came in as an independent (my own small company doing company to company work) to a venture that was essentially what you are talking about. It was owned by a family group that had started 2 or 3 other operations to try and get any one going and sell it basically. When it was private it was relaxed. People might come in late and work late, might be organized or have a messy office, so each did things their way. As long as you did your job and advance things, well it was fine and people got along. They were always tight on spending but it was ok, we got the job done. But when we got production going, and that operation sold to a regular stock company it all changed. People were being told to dress better, more managers being hired to make useless organizational charts, lots of deadlines starting being created, and tension went sky high. Many of the top people who figured it all out left. It worked better when it was private, when they sold to a stock company it didn't work as well.

I don't think that story is universal, just one experience and I was independent anyway so I was just getting paid by the hour and did other jobs too. Before that I had worked at a large US stock based company (very much not private) and they were real good to people and people loved it and working for them.


There won't be one answer on this.
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Old 03-31-2019, 03:01 PM
 
2,053 posts, read 595,092 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TestEngr View Post
But when we got production going, and that operation sold to a regular stock company it all changed. People were being told to dress better, more managers being hired to make useless organizational charts, lots of deadlines starting being created, and tension went sky high. Many of the top people who figured it all out left. It worked better when it was private, when they sold to a stock company it didn't work as well.

I don't think that story is universal
It is universal and let me tell you why....We are in the midst of a battle in USA Corporate culture. "Suits" (Lawyers/Accountants/Business Heads) vs "Bros"(Devs/Creatives/Marketers). This battle continues within public companies.

When it's public they bring in try-hard big wigs from traditional public companies with rigid rules and 100 year old Corporate culture. But let's talk FANG specifically. They are a great example of the struggle between the suits and the "bros".

Facebook is somewhat of an exception they seem to now have layers of bureaucracy but not necessarily the useless middle managers that Amazon has. That unfortunately COULD change if Congress continues to pound the regulatory gavel on them... Regulatory pressure will guarantee creative death and the devolution of the company into a soulless entity. The more regulated your niche the more buttons on your shirt are required.

Amazon is the worst of both worlds. They expect dynamic solutions yet brought on fat head business managers from Lockheed, Big Pharma, Wolters Kluwer, Big 4 Accounting, Accenture and the 2 other big consulting firms (their names escape me at the moment) they don't even have huge regulatory pressures in comparison to FB or Google. So why did they bring on these old lumps of coal to the team???

Netflix I forgot exactly when big pivot/shift happened but obviously before they were just a somewhat more efficient version of Blockbuster and that was pretty much it. Today they have some if the same issues as Amazon and Yahoo. You can't cultivate a Tech Brah atmosphere with suit and tie rules. There needs to be happy hour at 3pm and free craft beer on tap. The latest mantra as I posted recently is some BS Jack Welch philosophy. You've got to be effing kidding me. They better reevaluate that ASAP or get chipped away at by Amazon Prime Video, Hulu and "Google TV".

Google has a lot of the same problems as Facebook but has longer experience with them. They are sort of headed in the opposite direction (far away from suits) however and the good thing is Engineers and Devs at both Google and Facebook have much less red tape vs MSFT and Amazon. Google engineers are not stuck in regulatory hell all day and don't have their moves being constantly questioned by politicians because the Chief staff fielding that stuff are engineers themselves. They are playing it smart and not over extending themselves in EU. GDPR caused some headaches. Lot of suits needed for that compliance.

Extending to FAAANG....

Apple is the golden child right now. They are perfect in every way compared to competitors in terms of work culture. Everyone loves them!!!! Everything is shiny rainbows. Seriously. Basically no suits at the company.

Ok not really but it's rather unexpectedly uneventful. Ever since Tim took over things are very balanced and less chaotic. This is a good and a bad thing. I don't remember Apple ever being called to a Senate hearing.

Adobe. They are the lost step child trying to find their way back into the house by currying favor with grandma, the dog and anyone they can bribe with treats. Omniture was a cut and dry IT company to put it simply and now they are desperately trying to get enough super Sales bros and top tech talent to rival Google's "Marketing cloud " with their own. Adobe Analytics is not sexy. And it costs too much. The interface was unwieldy and unusable for most end users. They've been changing that. But until there's free beer on tap and nap rooms, they won't be able to attract the proper creative UX talent to get it done.

Bonus: Uber.

Before it was 90% Bros. Now probably 50% Suits. By 2020 probably more than that. It's because Uber is hella unprofitable, got caught spying in multiple countries and hacking competitors etc. Plus the whole negative impact on local livery associations everywhere. They brought this upon themselves. Working at Uber sucks already and it's not even public.They are like a hobbling wounded duck to regulators. Don't even need to waste a bullet. Go Fido finish em off!

Oh and I forgot Kalanick was a got damn fool and evidently many of the department heads are either really dumb or just racist/sexist. They are in more trouble from multiple regulators than Wells Fargo.


Long story short: Its not Public vs Private its Suits vs Bros.
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Old 03-31-2019, 03:45 PM
 
Location: OH>IL>CO>CT
5,229 posts, read 8,388,588 times
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TENCENT,

ISTM the OP was asking about Private Equity firms like Bain Capital, Platinum Equities, KKR and others
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Private_equity_firm. Not shareholder owned "public" businesses, which as you say, have their own problems.

My take, having been subject to 2 takeovers by a PE outfit, is the risk that the PE has no real interest in keeping the owned co. in business. They load it with debt, and pay themselves big bonuses. Then either dissolve the co, or sell off the remains to some other PE firm.
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Old 03-31-2019, 03:51 PM
 
Location: Aurora Denveralis
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Work, no, but observe fairly closely from an experienced viewpoint, yes.

The Denver Post was once one of the midwest's pillar newspapers, one that contributed an essential western viewpoint to the stronger "mid" continuum.

It was bought by an equity firm and fairly rapidly stripped down to a largish blogging operation that still puts out a flimsy daily rag. It's run purely on a profit-driven model based almost entirely on leveraging internet resources for both reporting and distribution. To say it's a shell of its former self is grandiose.

AFAIK, every staffer of quality has left, and it's run (for certain values of) by a relatively green, office-bound blogging staff.

That's PE ownership.
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Old 03-31-2019, 04:09 PM
 
1,673 posts, read 548,866 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by reed303 View Post
TENCENT,

ISTM the OP was asking about Private Equity firms like Bain Capital, Platinum Equities, KKR and others
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Private_equity_firm. Not shareholder owned "public" businesses, which as you say, have their own problems.

My take, having been subject to 2 takeovers by a PE outfit, is the risk that the PE has no real interest in keeping the owned co. in business. They load it with debt, and pay themselves big bonuses. Then either dissolve the co, or sell off the remains to some other PE firm.
I was going to say the same thing. OP's talking about private equity, which is more concerned with short term profitability for a sale of the firm. If you have an equity stake, working under PE is not bad. If you're salary, it's not going to be as fun.
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Old 03-31-2019, 04:57 PM
 
1,735 posts, read 1,256,893 times
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Yeah, that's what I thought.

I was laid off last month and have savings to last a long time, but the pay is good (130K in phoenix), which is why I'm considering accepting the offer.

What would you do?
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Old 03-31-2019, 05:03 PM
 
Location: Tennessee
23,556 posts, read 17,535,380 times
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I'd imagine it's a lot of stripping the valuable parts off, selling those, then letting the rest die.
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Old 03-31-2019, 05:36 PM
 
Location: Aurora Denveralis
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Serious Conversation View Post
I'd imagine it's a lot of stripping the valuable parts off, selling those, then letting the rest die.
That's fifty percent of it. but if they can turn any remaining parts into cash/equity cows, at any business, industry or personnel cost, they will.

The classic example is when the biz whiz kids took over Ford, just after the war. Not a one of them had any idea which end of a wrench was which, much less how car manufacturing or sales worked. They were just numbers geeks, starting with Robert MacNamara.

Amateurs compared to today's corporate wreckers.
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Old 03-31-2019, 05:40 PM
 
1,735 posts, read 1,256,893 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tonym9428 View Post
Yeah, that's what I thought.

I was laid off last month and have savings to last a long time, but the pay is good (130K in phoenix), which is why I'm considering accepting the offer.

What would you do?

any ideas on this...
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