The Babson Network

As a personal example, my first job came from the roommate of a good friend of mine (and who is now also a good friend) from my university; my serious career inflection at PayPal came from a good friend from my university who co-founded the company. And your networks are not just the people you know and who know you; they are also they people that they know, and further the people that they know. -Reid Hoffman, 2012 Babson College Commencement Address

 

It is interesting to see that Babson College is playing such a large role in the unfolding story that we are a part of. Arthur S. is an alum. Ron Weiner is an alum and has held several posts with the college. Jerry Noonan is an alum as well.

Who is Jerry Noonan? Jerry is an executive at Spencer Stuart and is also the man charged with the task of finding replacements for Arthur T as well as his management team. Of note is the fact that Jerry has background in our industry having held positions with Nabisco and PepsiCo. For more on Jerry click here

One of the big beefs that Arthur S and the board have had is the “related party transactions” and they have been hell bent on putting a stop to them. RMD and Sullivan/Bille have been in their crosshairs, with Sullivan/Bille having been given their walking papers after decades of being a great partner in the success of the company. Both of these companies have helped save DSM lots of money over the years by always understanding that they were part of the team and that a good partnership is based on trust. The board had no grasp of  how such relationships play such an integral part of who we are.

Now we look beyond the facade of their sanctimonious ways and see that an Old Boys network from Babson is taking the lead on many decisions regarding the fate of our company. Arthur S. goes out and taps Mr. Weiner for a post on the board. Arthur S and Mr. Weiner go out and tap another alum and his firm to find the replacement for our leaders. At the very best, this is an unseemly coincidence. One has to wonder what Kerry Healey, President of Babson and former Lieutenant Governer, would think about the fact that three prominent alums of her esteemed college are working together to ultimately ruin one of the greatest Massachusetts born businesses in order to fulfill the messed up dreams of one devious man. As a former executive of this state you have to imagine that she would be horrified to hear that new stores sit unopened, keeping hundreds from being employed, all because of the decisions of two alums, one of whom, Ron Weiner, is chairman of Babson Global. That a search is being done to replace the president and management team of a successful, growing company which is recognized as the standard bearer of its industry, by Jerry Noonan who is a Babson Trustee.

This board has shown that they don’t care about us, the stakeholders, but this is an example of how they do care about their fellow alums. While they scheme to take money out of our pockets whether we are associates, customers or vendors, they pay premium fees to Spenser Stuart, specifically its Boston office led by Babson’s Noonan. Once again, something stinks here.

We invite you to write President Healey and encourage her to look into this. Send her links to articles about the story and ask her to speak with these alums who are on the threshold of destroying our great company and tarnishing the Babson reputation along the way. It has a reputation as a top tiered business school and they take great pride in this and have cultivated it so that they attract the best entrepreneurial minded candidates from around the world. The last thing Babson would want is attention that several of their high profile alums are doing such damage to a business and the communities right in its own backyard.

President Healey: khealey@babson.edu
Professor Shahid Ansari, CEO Babson Global: sansari@babson.edu

 

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