My advice and insights about WebMD’s massive layoffs

Here’s another example of the people in company leadership, resting on their laurels. Once a leader in the nascent internet business models, now a dinosaur, WebMD has forgotten about innovation and how to keep up with the competition. Or maybe they didn’t think they had any competition. 

This statement blows me away:

“We have begun the process of rationalizing our infrastructure to streamline operations and reduce costs while we make the reinvestment and changes necessary to position the company for long term growth.”

My questions:

1. Why are they just now beginning? That needs to be an ongoing process, not a reactive event when things go very wrong. 

2. Why are they just now thinking about reinvestment strategies? What have they been investing in? Executive bonuses? Boondoggle management trips to the Caribbean? 

3. Why did it take a significant change in their quarterly results to just now strategize about positioning for long-term growth? Isn’t that what a competent board of directors is supposed to do? Isn’t that what a solid executive management team is supposed to do? Have you been sleeping for the last 5 years? 

If you are in business or run a business, you may want to pull your head out of your arse and see what your competition is doing, how the industry directions are changing, what disruptive business approaches, business models, technologies and startups are on the horizon. Who in your industry is getting funded by VC firms? Might want to pay attention to those.

These days, people in the leadership chairs at big corporations need to watch carefully what’s going on around them, or the stars of the past will just wither away. 

I’m sure the laid off and remaining employees at WebMD will be bolting to greener pastures to companies who remain leaders in their fields. Those leaders are the ones that remain innovative and can still move fast enough to out-compete and out-collaborate. No matter how big or small the company.

Too bad WebMD can’t. 

Contact me if you want some help figuring out what your competition is up to, and what you can do about, so you can thrive. 

Marty Koenig

CxO To Go

Health information provider WebMD Health Corp. is expected to announce major layoffs…

See on