Our company continued to grow rapidly, and corporations noticed. Acquistion offers started coming in. One day, the owner and senior management accepted an offer and sold our business, pocketing themselves quite a sum of money in the process. They explained to us the reasons behind the sale, told us that great things were in store for the business, and walked away.
The company that bought us did not have a presence in our area, so we thought perhaps it wanted to increase its physical market space and our customer services would continue. But a couple of weeks later, the director of operations quit without advance notice. In retrospect, he may have seen the writing on the wall or learned something the rest of us hadn't.
Things started going downhill from there as more closed-door meetings took place, none of them involving anybody from the tech side. More managers left, and the rest of us polished our resumes and kept an eye on job postings. Soon afterward, a group of techs was let go -- including me.
A month later, I'd found a job at a new company. I kept in contact with my former coworkers, who told me the situation had grown even worse. The company that bought us had zero experience running a service shop, so they closed it down and fired all the service techs, keeping a few IT staff for internal tech support. They had decided to run the business like their company, which was to just sell computer hardware and software.
However, the new owners failed to understand that many of our corporate customers picked our company as their vendor because we offered a full turnkey solution for their IT needs. When the new owners disbanded the service side, customers left in droves.
About a year later, the company went out of business, and the new owners sold off the remaining inventory at a loss.
I'm not sure what happened to the parent company, but to this day I'm still vexed that the new management destroyed a sound, rapidly growing company. I've had quite a few satisfying jobs since then, but I still rank my time at that employer near the very top of positive career experiences.
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This story, "How a bad buyout killed a good company," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Read more crazy-but-true stories in the anonymous Off the Record blog at InfoWorld.com. For the latest business technology news, follow InfoWorld.com on Twitter.