business news in context, analysis with attitude

The Wall Street Journal reports that Thomas M. Bloch, the former CEO of H&R Block Inc. and the son of the company’s co-founder, has resigned from the firm’s board of directors, saying that “he has grown increasingly worried that the panel would ‘bow to pressure from short-term-oriented shareholders’ as the company's share price has declined. He urged the board members not to tolerate plans that cost the company market share, oversee management's attack on the firm's challenges and avoid short-term objectives that could thwart long-term value.”
KC's View:
Okay, you’re wondering right now why this story is on MNB.

Here’s why.

First of all, it is right in MNB’s wheelhouse when a business executive puts long-term objectives above short-term market value. H&R Block may not be a retailer that we normally cover, but this is behavior of which we approve...and it deserves to be noted.

Another thing. A number of stories note that Block has problems with the just re-elected chairman of the company, believing, as Reuters put it, that he has tried to refocus the company on tax preparation, but ... may have missed the ball in acknowledging the growing acceptance of do-it-yourself tax products.”

Seems to me that if you are in the tax preparation business and have not rejiggered the structure and economics to adjust for the fact that so many people are able to do their taxes on their computers and file them electronically, then you’ve done more than “missed the ball.” You’ve probably lost the entire game.

This actually goes back to the point I tried to make above in my “Eye-Opener.” How many business leaders preside over the demise of their operations because they don’t acknowledge fast enough the profound changes that are taking place that could make the world unrecognizable?