Dick Brown: Action, urgency, excellence!
'Proud to say I'm an EDSer'
MemoWatch Yesterday we noted the absence of Dick Brown in the EDS ouster press release. But he did pop up, in an email missive to fellow "EDSers", as he calls himself (yuck!). So here is Brown's valediction, followed by a statement to the troops from the new guys in charge (we have reversed the order of the messages in which they appeared in the memo).
20 March 2003
To the EDS Worldwide Team:
I had the privilege of joining EDS in December of 1998. It has been an all-consuming experience with numerous opportunities, the excitement of an industry that's fast-paced and a string of challenges along the way.
My guiding leadership principle has always been to do what I believed is right for EDS. Today, I believe that means transferring leadership to a new executive team.
We've accomplished a great deal in these past four years:
* First and foremost, we developed and supported the best professional team of people in the industry.
* Forty-eight strategic businesses were reduced to four lines of business, and in the process, we raised productivity and reduced costs by $5 billion.
* A restructured business put more than 80 percent of our professionals in positions where they are facing the marketplace.
* We've booked more than $100 billion of new business.
* Together, we've undertaken a relentless march to distinguish EDS as the premier service excellence leader.
Our successes have also been accompanied by challenges:
* A difficult global economy and an IT industry where growth has all but halted
* The bankruptcies of several key clients and systemic problems in the airline and telecommunications industries, where we have a significant presence
* A rebalancing of our business to accommodate the gradually lowered spending of our largest client, GM
We have managed these challenges together. EDS is a financially solid company with an excellent future. While the stock market isn't giving us much of a break right now, there is no question EDS is better positioned today to deliver long-term success than at any time in our history.
There are times in the history of any company where change in senior leadership makes sense. Now is such a time at EDS. Together, the board and I have reached an agreement that a change should occur. Monday, new Chairman and CEO, Michael Jordan, will be on hand. Jeff Heller will return as COO. They will bring needed new energy. They will create a fresh and new perspective.
I wish Michael and Jeff every success. Under their leadership, I have no doubt EDS will move to a higher level of growth and performance. I believe this strongly and have voiced it to our Board. The Board has agreed. The change process has now commenced. I will be available through a transition period and for as long or short a time as needed.
I want to take this opportunity to thank each of you for your pride, professionalism and great performance. I am proud to say I'm an EDSer and will always speak with affection for this great company.
I will sign off as I commenced, with ...
Action, urgency, excellence!
20 March 2003
To the EDS Worldwide Team:
Today opens a new chapter in the history of EDS. The EDS Board of Directors and Dick Brown mutually agreed the time is right for an orderly change of leadership.
We are delighted to accept this opportunity to lead EDS. This company is a strong, stable enterprise with an industry-leading reputation for excellent client service. It has the financial strength to serve existing clients and pursue new business. Its markets have tremendous long-term growth potential.
To this strong foundation, we bring a fresh perspective -- as well as a deep understanding of this great company's heritage and potential. Working together with you, we look forward to building a strong, successful future for EDS.
Michael H. Jordan
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
President and Chief Operating Officer