The Boss Died, Now What?

Coaching - Succession- Financial Planning

The Boss Died, Now What?

Judith watched in disbelief as the paramedics wheeled the stretcher carrying Fred’s body past her office. A distraught Emily, Fred’s wife, followed, supported by Al, Fred’s partner in the business.

Emily had come in for a lunch date and found Fred face down on his desk. It was too late.

Judith sat there, her attention taken away from the month-end bookkeeping she had been working on. Did it matter anymore? What would happen now? Fred was in his early fifties, with no real signs of health issues, or was there? Was there something we missed?

Fred was president and the head of sales in the company; he had the contacts and the personality. Al was the guru in product development, very smart, an important part of a good team that included Judith as the accountant.

Judith felt numb, it had all happened so fast. Cindy, Al’s daughter was sitting at her desk weeping; Judith should do something…but what?

We’ve just turned the corner she thought; the company is growing so fast, now what? Who will lead sales now? Will Emily want to sell Fred’s shares? Can Al buy them? Can I buy them…the company must be worth quite a bit…but not without someone leading sales.

What’s Emily going to do? I don’t think here’s a shareholders agreement. Is there life insurance? Their son Martin is just starting university. …God what a mess.

Al and I need to meet. We need a plan. What can we tell the bank? What will they do? The suppliers get along with Al but will they still have confidence in us? Can we keep our credit?

What will our customers say? Fred had such a tight relationship with them what now? Can our competition take advantage?

I should go and talk to Cindy. Maybe she should go home…or maybe she should stay here. It’s like family here in the office. We need to talk to the staff…Al and I.

Will he be back today?

What should we say?

We need a plan. Everyone is going to have questions. We need answers. But everyone is all over the place. Is Al in charge?

Am I?

When will Al be back?

We need a plan, but how do we do a plan now? It’s too late.

Today everything is too late.