WaterTech, a premier home security and drain cleaning equipment manufacturer, has just fired its president and vice president, Mike Fernandez, after almost a decade on the job. WaterTech’s Board of Directors is meeting to choose a new president this week. Meanwhile, Jeff Gray, a highly experienced salesman, has been hired as the new president of WaterTech, Inc. Read on for more information on what this means for the struggling company.
Gray is a former Army intelligence officer and is now a senior management consultant with experience in dealing with government contracts, acquisitions, and other large-scale business concerns. According to a press release from WaterTech, he will be working as the company’s senior vice president of sales and marketing. Previously, he served as a senior vice president of operations and sales at Emerson Consulting. Before that, he held positions at Schluter, Packard, and Merck & Co.
The moves by the WaterTech Board of Directors is an attempt to restructure the organization. According to sources, the Board is trying to cut expenses and streamline operations in response to a recent series of negative publicity. For example, in May, it was reported that the company overcharged customers by $100 million. That occurred despite the fact that the president had previously made public statements that the charges were fair and appropriate. Gray will be responsible for learning how to correct these problems, which could be a difficult task given the ongoing turnover of personnel at WaterTech. It is not clear whether or not the overcharging was an error or merely an oversight on the part of a low-level sales person.
It is also not clear what the next steps are for the struggling company. According to a news release from the Watertech Company, President Fernandez is “actively seeking” candidates to take over the responsibilities of the retiring president. Whether that means more layoffs, more lay-offs, or a combination of both is not clear. It is, however, another bad day for the Watertech Company.
The company’s financial statements do not list a position for Mr. Fern. However, the company says that “in connection with the retirement of Mr. Fern as President of Watertech, the Board has taken steps to implement a succession plan which is in conjunction with Bank of America’s policies in effect for senior executives and our own.” If true, this raises a question as to whether Mr. Fern may be replaced at any point in the future. If so, will he be succeeded by someone who does not share the same vision?
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