Sunday, April 13, 2014

Facing Some Difficult Facts

With the recent disclosure that Antonio Calce is no longer at the helm of Corum, I was truly shocked, saddened and frankly disappointed by the commentary from some of the "alleged" watch press - and yes, you know who you are. 

To give you some background, Mr. Calce was hired as the CEO for Corum, and with the takeover of ETERNA by Haidian Group he was also asked to head up ETERNA as well.  Without getting into too much detail, the basics are that his "Eterna sojourn" was fairly short-lived, and he went back to being in charge solely of Corum.  And as of a few days ago word leaked out that he was, in fact, no longer at the helm of Corum. 

And now to get back to what I find troubling - "REAL JOURNALISTS" instead of, I don't know, doing some "journalist stuff" immediately hit social media with comments like:

"well what do you expect from the Chinese?"  or  "It was bound to happen with the Chinese who don't know ANYTHING about the Swiss watch business" or other even more xenophobic comments.


That is the dumbest, most ill-informed, and frankly pathetic "fair and balanced reporting" that I have ever read.    If these are the "journalists"… well, let's just say that they are drinking too much of their own bath water.  

Let's face some facts:

1.  Neither Corum or Eterna for that matter were exactly being fought over by Richemont, SWATCH or LVMH.  That doesn't mean that Corum and Eterna aren't valuable, because they are.  But if we focus strictly on the reality here - they needed more than just money, they needed help.  And frankly, Haidian was there for them.

2.  What NOBODY is actually willing to consider, that maybe, just maybe Haidian actually DOES know something about the Swiss watch industry.

3.  And lastly - let's ask the most awkward question - is it at all possible that maybe, just maybe Mr. Cacle just wasn't successful?  Maybe he was not able to meet the goals that were set?  And let's really be honest, it is NOT like Haidian took over and immediately cleaned house.  Swiss companies have "cut bait" much faster than this.  Swiss companies, with Swiss boards of directors have "shit-canned" Swiss CEOs within DAYS of takeover, and frankly, nobody batted an eye.  But then again, I guess they were the "right" nationality...

So gentle readers, with all the trouble in the world today with misunderstanding and mistrust, perhaps we could dispense with all of the "armchair expert" opinions from "journalists" who have never even worked in the industry - people very good at going to expensive events, getting hotels, flights and meals comped (all the while complaining about the inconvenience), and frankly should know better.  The fact that the owners are not Swiss has absolutely NO bearing on this, or other terminations due to "misadventure".  The truth is sometimes not so sexy, but sometimes people fail.  And frankly, there is no shame in failure.  

But there is shame in chucking up slow, fat pitches without doing the research to back it up.  People say I'm not a "journalist" but a "blogger".   I can live with that.

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