OT: Toys R Us Closing all US Stores

OT: Toys R Us Closing all US Stores

Submitted by ctallarico20 on March 15th, 2018 at 12:32 AM

https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2018/03/14/toys-r-us-told-employees-wednesday-planning-sell-close-all-its-u-s-stores-and-file-liquidation-paper/426292002/

 

"The company confirmed a Wall Street Journal report that Chief Executive Dave Brandon had shared the news with employees in a conference call. A spokeswoman for Toys R Us told The Record that Brandon told employees it was a sad day and that customers and others would be sad to see the brand disappear."

OT: Dave Brandon gets a $2.4M Bonus

OT: Dave Brandon gets a $2.4M Bonus

Submitted by Da Fino on December 7th, 2017 at 6:50 AM

Judge rules that Toys R Us execs get to keep bonuses after the company filed for bankruptcy. That includes a $2.4 million bump for our least favorite former AD. Barf. Proposed: https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/nation-now/2017/11/29/toys-r-us-ba… Approved: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2017/12/07/bankrupt-…

 

EDIT: Changed title from DB to Dave Brandon

OT: Bankruptcy Trustee Gives Dave Brandon a Lump of Coal

OT: Bankruptcy Trustee Gives Dave Brandon a Lump of Coal

Submitted by Tasker Bliss on November 30th, 2017 at 1:50 PM
From Reuters: A bonus plan for top executives at Toys 'R' Us "defies logic," according to the government's bankruptcy watchdog, who blasted the proposal that the retailer has argued will help boost earnings during its critical holiday shopping season. The plan would pay up to $32 million to 17 executives. "It defies logic and wisdom, not to mention the Bankruptcy Code, that a bankrupt company would now propose further multi-million dollar bonuses for the senior leadership of a company that began the year with employee layoffs and concludes it in the midst of the holiday season in bankruptcy," the office said in papers filed on Tuesday. "Apparently, this Christmas, Toys 'R' Us intends to deliver not only 'children their biggest smiles of the year' but the insiders, too," the office added, in a mocking reference to comments by Chief Executive David Brandon in court papers supporting his company's Chapter 11 petition.

Semi-OT: Analyzing the Mistakes of a Certain Toy Company, B-School Style

Semi-OT: Analyzing the Mistakes of a Certain Toy Company, B-School Style

Submitted by stephenrjking on April 14th, 2017 at 1:51 PM

This is a tough topic to post about without it going the wrong way, but I actually find it fascinating. Brian linked a Wapo article describing the struggles of Toys R Us, currently run by you-know-who.

The purpose of this post isn't to laught that DB is doing badly: I want to know WHAT he is doing badly. I have some pretty good ideas, many of them gleaned from extensive exposure to Ross B-School students and graduates. 

The headline: "Why is Toys R Us Still Struggling - Even as the Wider Toy Industry Booms?"

Too lengthy to fisk the whole article (about which I have extensive thoughts) but I will point out one thing: DB handwaves a $200 mil decline in video game/electronic sales by saying that mobile gaming is growing. But Sony, the biggest fish in the pond, had a great year, including record PS4 sales and strong game sales as well. Seems problematic to just chalk up a big decline when your products are selling really well elsewhere.

We know DB is the problem. There are probably people on this board who would, literally, be a better CEO than DB; what would you guys address here?

A Voice From The Sky

A Voice From The Sky

Submitted by Give It To Wheatley on September 21st, 2016 at 1:53 PM

W. P. Kinsella passed away last weekend at the age of eighty-one. During his lifetime, Kinsella published seven novels and over a dozen collections of short stories, but the work for which he will be most remembered is Shoeless Joe, the book on which the 1989 film Field of Dreams was based. Now familiar to sports fans and non-sports fans alike, the story hardly needs to be recounted: an Iowa man hears a spectral voice while standing in the middle of his cornfield, and by heeding its call, the man discovers a way back to the baseball heroes of his youth. Kinsella’s work was often assigned the label of magical realism, a term which suggests the blending of fact and fantasy into a tenuous equilibrium, but to the true devotee, Kinsella’s work may read more like a testament of faith. Kinsella’s lasting contribution may be the way in which he taught sports fans to believe in the voice from the sky.

 

For thirty-three years, until 2005, Howard King was the voice from the sky in Michigan Stadium, where he served as the public address announcer. Understated and level, King’s voice raised an entire generation of Michigan Football fans to appreciate the unique culture of the program: substance over style, consistency over conceit, tradition over all. This was not the culture of most other institutions, and certainly not of the businesses which constitute the NFL, all of whom sold their souls to the Devil in exchange for a few extra decibels of arousal. In fact, up until the last decade, Michigan Stadium crowds were frequently disparaged for behaving more like an audience at a symphony -- clapping at appropriate times, looking on in silence during the rest -- than a throng at a football game. Whether or not the criticism was fair mattered little (nor does the fact that King’s replacement, Carl Grapentine, is -- of all things -- a deejay for a classical music radio station). Michigan fans didn’t care. We didn’t need piped-in music or pleas for cheering. All we wanted was our beautiful metaphor, the steady drone of Howard King’s voice punctuating another methodical march down the field.

 

To those who watched carefully, King was once again present at The Big House this past Saturday afternoon, though this time, it was not his voice which greeted fans but, rather, his image. Since the arrival of coach Jim Harbaugh last season, Michigan’s game day field entrance has been preceded by a video montage -- narrated by another iconic Michigan voice, James Earl Jones -- featuring footage of Michigan greats from all walks of University life: astronauts, United States Presidents, professors, former athletes, television personalities, and olympians. Each week, the video changes ever so slightly, substituting a picture here or there so as to keep the cast in fresh rotation. In the most recent edition, someone in the athletic department had decided to slip in a black and white shot of King glancing at the camera from his regular perch, in front of a microphone in the old Michigan Stadium press box. How many other fanbases would recognize a mugshot of their former public address announcer? Yet it was unmistakable. For a split second, he was there.

 

The powers that be have not been kind to Michigan Football fans for much of the past decade, yet I’m not talking about phantom forces or the proverbial Big Man Upstairs. Most notably through the amalgam of quagmires brought on by former athletic director Dave Brandon, those who’ve stayed have felt the foundation of the community tested again and again by higher ups who’ve tried to reboot and rebrand Michigan Football for their warped, data-driven concept of the twenty-first century. Too often during that time, Michigan fans have been told their program is something that it isn’t: an alt-rock jam named “In The Big House”; a two-tickets-for-a-bottle-of-Coke promotion; a giant, plastic Kraft macaroni noodle placed outside Section 34; bumblebee-striped alternate uniforms; an oppressive student seating policy; public relations disaster after disaster. I remember one instance three years ago when -- after Michigan beat Notre Dame in the teams’ last scheduled meeting at the Big House -- someone made the call to play “The Chicken Dance” over the speakers at the stadium, a jab at Notre Dame’s “chickening out” of the rivalry. I lashed out at the decision, seeing it as a petty move and another nail in the coffin of the once-stoic Michigan culture. Beyond that, I was crushed. It was a confirmation that the people in charge of the thing I loved were oblivious to the most fundamental elements that gave it its value. The same speakers which once carried the voice of Howard King were now the avenue for degeneracy. Then, this past Saturday, a voice from the sky reemerged. Without saying a word, it announced that someone up there understands and is looking out for us after all.

Dave Brandon Out At Toys 'R' Us - Back to Sports

Dave Brandon Out At Toys 'R' Us - Back to Sports

Submitted by Everyone Murders on April 1st, 2016 at 8:25 AM

It's hard to glean from this ARTICLE whether the move was voluntary or not, but Dave Brandon and Toys 'R' Us have severed ties so that Brandon can join the Washington Redskins as their new Senior Vice President - Marketing & Public Relations.  Quotes?  Quotes:

 

Joshua Bekenstein, Board of Directors, Toys 'R' Us:  We appreciate all that Dave Brandon has done on behalf of Toys 'R' Us, coming in at a difficult time and righting the Toys 'R' Us ship.  While we have had to work through employee and retail unit right-sizing, we believe that Dave's tireless efforts have increased the overall enterprise's value and we appreciate all he's done.  While store closings and employee right-sizing will continue in his absence, Dave Brandon really jumpstarted that process, and the stakeholders appreciate his efforts.
Daniel M. Snyder, Owner, Washington Redskins Football Club:  The entire Redskins organization is thrilled to welcome Dave Brandon into his new role directing the Redskins' marketing and community relations efforts.  The Redskins play an outsize role in both the DC metropolitan community and across the nation, and we think that Dave is the perfect choice to solidify and maximize those relationships.  Dave has a strong sports and PR background, and is the ideal man for the job.  Dave helped to rebuild the University of Michigan sports programs, including hiring Jim Hackett, and has made each place he has worked a stronger, more familial environment.
Dave Brandon, SVP - Marketing & PR, Washington Redskins Football Club:  I am thrilled to join the Redskins and assist Dan Snyder, Jay Gruden, and (Director of Football Operations) Paul Kelly in my new role.  And I am especially excited to continue to cement the Redskins' nationwide brand, and find new and innovative ways to continue to honor Native American culture through the Redskins' brand.  I also look forward to working with the club on public education of currently overstated CTE and concussion issues.

One Year Ago: Brandon's E-mails

One Year Ago: Brandon's E-mails

Submitted by South Bend Wolverine on October 28th, 2015 at 1:09 PM

I have a penchant for stats, coincidences, anniversaries, and all other areas in which the chaos of life seems for a moment to be reducible to the numerically comprehensible.  For this reason, occasions like today grab me & cause me to reflect.  It was a year ago today that Brian & Ace posted their scathing report on Dave Brandon's bizarre & mean-spirited e-mails (http://mgoblog.com/content/david-brandon-i-suggest-you-find-new-team).  As we now know for certain from "Brandon's Lasting Lessons", this was indeed the last straw.  While Brandon did not resign that same day, his fate was sealed, making this day the consequential turning point in long, strange saga of Dave.

I know that "wow things sure feel different now with Harbaugh, etc." posts are a dime a dozen around these parts nowadays, but this struck me as one worth noting.  That article was a seminal moment in the history of this blog, and remains one of the most consequential pieces of sports reporting produced in recent years across all sports.  When it came out, Michigan athletics was at one of the lowest points in its 150 year history.  And here we are today.

2016 Non-Con

2016 Non-Con

Submitted by jimmyshi03 on September 21st, 2015 at 1:25 PM

Perhaps the one thing Brandon did decently after losing the ND series was attempting to fill the void with good future opponents, including Florida (at JerryWorld, but better than nothing) U-Dub, Arkansas, Virginia Tech, UCLA, Texas and Oklahoma. But next year is hot garbage, aside from the return of Wisconsin to the schedule. Michigan may well be facing three new coaches (though I'd doubt CU makes a change and George O'Leary is his own boss at the moment). Does anyone recall if this is largely the result of the move the 9-game conference schedule or a lack of creativity in finidng a good Power-5 opponent, or a combination of the two? 

Two of the teams currently have winning records (including Hawaii beating CU), but I'd imagine Brandon was counting on UCF to be the strongest of the three, and they just lost to Fuman. But hey, at least its a good way to break in a new quarterback and linebacking corps. 

And, it's rare for a schedule to have three past BCS selections, I suppose.