The simple answer is that all had new leaders in the last couple of years. But, here is the problem - they're all old school, old hat, and not so relevant anymore to investors.
Take a look at the latest casualty in the boardroom. Don Thompson was the CEO of McDonald's Corp. (NYSE:MCD) and he held that position for just over two years, during which time McDonald's went nowhere and had zero growth. He is stepping down effective March 1st and Steve Easterbrook, will be taking over the reins of McDonald's. The problem I see with McDonald's is that it's associated with fast, unhealthy food when the entire food industry is turning to healthy eating. You only have to look at places like Baja Fresh, Chipotle and a host of new up-and-comers in the fast, casual, healthy dining service industry to see where McDonald's has completely missed the boat. Like the stock market, perception is everything and the perception is McDonald's just doesn't cut it anymore with most young parents and millennials.
Ray Kroc had a brilliant idea when he first stumbled on the original McDonald's in California back in 1954. Here he discovered Dick and Mac McDonald's fast food restaurant in San Bernardino, California. One year later he incorporated McDonald's Corp. and the rest is history. Now 60 years later, like a lot of corporations, it has lost its relevance in the marketplace and it's going to be extremely hard to play catch-up and change their image. What do you think?
Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) had a similar start to McDonald's, only this time, a young Bill Gates bought a program from a hacker for $50,000 (remember DOS?) and promptly turned around and licensed it out to IBM for a cool $1,000,000 a year. [Read more...]