Lynn Tilton has bought and sold over 150 companies, and through her holding company, Patriarch Partners, currently owns 75 companies employing over 120,000 people. She's credited with savings over 250,000 jobs by buying companies and turning them around. She focuses predominantly on buying "fallen brands," (e.g. Spiegel, Rand McNally, Hughes Helicopters), and breathes new life into them. That makes her more than an expert - that makes her a guru on turning around companies.
So how does she resuscitate “fallen brands”? This week on The CEO TV Show, she explains how she does it to Robert Reiss, host of the show. "It starts with the brand," she began, "because brands still have intrinsic value irrespective of how badly the business is doing. Brand means instant recognition. People love to support familiar underdogs."
What is the first thing she does to breathe life back into a fallen brand? "The first thing to do is bring innovation into the culture. Stagnation means death; innovation means growth," Tilton explained. "There are a myriad of reasons why a company fails, but usually it is caused by an inability to innovate as their customers change."
When Tilton was asked to give an example, she recounted her experience with Rand McNally: "They were a 'paper map' company that did not innovate like Mapquest or Google Maps had. So it didn't get to where it should have been by adapting to the digital age. Now we've created new, innovative products like a major trucking navigation and tracking device that is #1 in the market. We've also created an RV navigation device, and we're creating a virtually reality travel company where people will be able to travel and buy goods over the internet."
Tilton is committed in her turnaround situations to bringing manufacturing back to America which comes out loud and clear when she says, "The biggest brand that we need to breathe life back into is 'Made in America'. People will pay more for our products when they realize Americans still make first-class products. We've allowed ourselves to be convinced that we don't make anything of value in America anymore. This has to stop - because it's not true! We didn't become the biggest economy in the world because we don't know how to make things that work. But we have to have a government that has an industrial policy that is committed to protecting the very essence of 'Made in America'."
To watch the full interview, go to www.ceoshow.tv.
The CEO TV Show, a service of The CEO Show (www.ceoshow.com), is a weekly program based on a series of video interviews with top CEOs who have changed the fabric of American society hosted by Robert Reiss. In addition to being available at the website above, it is also hosted on a number of affiliate websites, including ACG New York, Vistage, Small Giants, Senn Delaney, NAFE and others.
For more information, or if you would like to host the CEO interviews on your website, contact: Patric Hale, General Manager, "The CEO Show", [email protected]; See also: www.ceoshow.com; www.ceoshow.tv
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