Ralph Topping, Chief Executive of William Hill, tweeted recently: ‘The worse a company’s performance, the higher the level of management speak in its senior reps’ public utterances’.
How true, and it led me with more humour than candour to think of all the double speak I have come across trawling through company accounts and listening to managers through my years of consulting at GBGC. Enjoy.
Company Accounts and CEO Statements
1. Exceptional items – Management has made some seriously bad investments, they can be hidden no longer.
2. The Remuneration Committee will set the Chief Executives pay and bonus – The remuneration committee will do exactly what the Chief Executive wants or he will leave the company rudderless.
3. The final salary pension scheme is no longer economically sustainable or viable – except for the CEO and FD.
4. We expect to meet market estimates – we will come in 10% less than last year.
5. Trading has been challenging – We are screwed.
6. It has been a difficult year – we are more screwed.
7. We are restructuring the business – so screwed we are up for sale.
8. We are going to merge with another business where management expects the benefit of synergies – We have been taken over and will lose our jobs.
9. Our new merged business will create shareholder value – dream on.
10. Our revenue increased 35% this year – we made a net loss.
11. Sharp uptick – minute increase.
12. We are tax efficient – Welcome to Gibraltar.
13. Following the restructuring, X will be taking on some additional responsibilities – We have chosen our fall guy and have set them up to take all the blame for our mistakes.
14. Core values – Making money.
15. We’re seeking new revenue streams – We’re broke
16. We’re restructuring our financing – We’re broke but not ready to admit it yet.
17. We are going to issue bonds to finance our future expansion – we need money to pay wages.
18. During May we opened 10,000 new accounts – they all took the ridiculous bonus offer and have moved on to the next operator offer.
19. We have a strong affiliate programme – they should all burn in hell.
20. We want to be regulated and pay tax – we are insane and need counselling.
21. Social responsibility is core to our management programme – after paying money into the bank.
22. We are in dialogue with Government – they will not talk to us.
23. We had a frank and open discussion with Treasury – a stand up row.
24. We have a good working relationship with the Gambling Commission – we do the work they relate.
25. We have a diversified international business – our call centre is in Manila.
26. Gambling is addictive – so is coffee, ban that first.
27. Horseracing is concerned about the quality of the breed – they want more money from bookmakers.
28. Horseracing and bookmakers have come to an equitable deal on the levy – horseracing got more money from bookmakers.
29. We are going to invest £20m in new software – We are clueless. We pray to god that it will work.
30. Stakeholders – a group of people who have not invested a penny in the business yet have a claim on the profits.
31. Sustainable growth – never been achieved in the history of mankind but it’s a good investment story.
32. Impairments – some guy purchased the latest widget which is totally obsolete.