Understanding just how bad things can get

CEOs are a pretty optimistic bunch. And I think maybe that’s right. It might be the only way to maintain sanity in the job.

I’ve lost count of the number of conversations I’ve had with CEOs and CFOs about their business prospects and what variability to assume when simulating future possibilities. I’ve had several try to convince me that the worst that can happen is a 100% decline in profit.

100% decline in profit still isn’t a loss.

HP just had its largest loss ever. 73 years ever. This is a real harsh reminder of how bad things can get from a great company.

Skype Employee Share Options That Weren’t

I deal with employee share options frequently. Mostly from a valuation perspective, but also from structuring performance and vesting conditions to retain an incentivise key staff. Now I can’t say these decisions are never controversial, but without fail the intention of the employer is to provide a fair deal to staff.

That is until I heard about Skype’s apparent shenanigans. Not only does it appear they may have fired several executives prior to the purchase by Microsoft (allegedly to escape paying on unvested options as part of typical corporate takeover provisions in Employee Share Option agreements), but if you read this article about Skype employees who left and received no value for in-the-money, vested options, you start to wonder whether anyone will ever work for or with Silver Lake again. Continue reading “Skype Employee Share Options That Weren’t”