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Bitstream Case

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* Initially created as a company that would digitized type fonts for display screens and printers. * By 1992, revenues from two distinct line of business- Retail sales ($18mn) and OEM sales ($12mn). The new President joins

* Jim Sole appointed as president in January 1992
* Worked with IBM and Xerox for roughly 20 years in a variety of sales management positions. * Also, worked as a president of a small company that made electronic publishing equipment. * Spent two years doing consulting for electronic and printing industries before joining Bitstream. * Has been highly successful.

The changes brought about by him
Problem| Solution given by Jim|
Company was top-heavy and organization chart made no sense| Asked two groups to make new organizational charts that would cut the expense by 15%| Organization was like a political place, with lot of behind-the-scenes manoeuvring| He restricted people from making personal attacks and related the compensation to team performance| Decision making not fast and efficient| He encouraged people to get to a consensus after listening to each other, otherwise he would flip a coin and take decision| Less freedom to work| He allowed people to come up with their own 6-10 objectives and measures of each and evaluated them on these| \\ The Challenges to Growth //

* To ensure that expense growth lags revenue growth keeping a focus on R&D and marketing. * With employee growth of 25% per year and 15% turnover, 40% employees were new. This causes problems in training and gelling. * As people grow they divide responsibilities and specialize jobs and people might feel that their job is shrinking.

The Network Print Manager Project
* Dramatic opportunity for growth
* Required a synthesis of old technology
* Market already exists and customers are readily identifiable * Prospects of $100 mn
* Found a company(Novell) who has already reached 50% of what they wanted to do * Will be using VARs for marketing

The requirements for the position according to Jim
* He thought that some prior experience with networking products and VAR channel was important, so he assisted on hiring an external person. * He should be able to see the tail of the development process. * The person has to be a seasoned professional in the sense that they don’t have to be taught how to run a business. * He should be able to learn about the organization quickly on his own. * He should be experiences, energetic and enthusiastic.

* Should be good at marketing; positioning the product, developing the communication plan * Should be a decision-maker and should be able to manage people as Jim does

The hiring process according to Jim
* Match personal goals with job requirements
* Right attitude
* Look for intellectual curiosity
* Not too worried about specific prior experience
* Basic attitude and aptitude are very important

How Jim went about with the search
* Jim contacted Peter Dromeshauser and explained him the requirements for the job. * Peter called some senior marketing executives from top companies in the field like Banyan, Adobe, HP, Xerox, Intel. * He shortlisted seven people who looked like good candidates. * He interviewed them and shortlisted four candidates for the final selection.

Flaws with Jim’s selection criteria
* The reporting relationship is not clear since Jim is unable to place the new job position in the current organizational chart. This will be a problem for Jim and the candidates who are applying for the post as they are not clear of their reporting relationships. * He should have also given an opportunity to the present employees. He might find a suitable candidate from among them. * He has to include the other vice-Presidents also for developing the job description. * He wanted a candidate who was similar to him, which is not the best way. He should go for recruiting with an open mind.

During the interview he should look for
* Decision making power
* Entrepreneurial spirit
* Experience in tackling competition
* He should try and verify indirectly if the resumes represent an accurate picture of the candidates

Fred Fallon looks the most promising candidate for the job as of now because he has experience of developing and marketing new products. He also is fairly experienced and seems to be a good team player. The decision making capabilities should be assessed from the interview. The decision is primarily based on the fact described in the reading ‘Hiring without Firing’ by Cladio Fernandez Araoz that while technical skills may be developed during the process but the success at managerial jobs primarily require Emotional Intelligence and the success dependence may be as high as 67%. Hence William Wendel with political and self-focussed nature, Chris Cowan with abrasive, headstrong and stubborn nature do not make the cut. Mitchell Madison is already earning $30,000 more than the offer and as the CEO himself says bumping it might create internal friction. Hence our final choice is Fred Fallon who has decent mix of work and social skills.

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