“After Surviving Slump, Managers Ponder Next Moves”
In the December 28, 2009 issue of The Wall Street Journal, Booz & Company Senior Partner Cesare Mainardi said that CEOs who cut costs strategically during the downturn will be able to accelerate innovation in their strongest specialties. Rather than striking out into new areas, the likelihood of a slow recovery “requires sticking to your knitting,” said Mainardi, the firm’s managing director of North America and co-author of the 2009 ebook, Cut Costs, Grow Stronger. As an example, Mainardi cited Procter & Gamble Co., which has sold its prescription-drug business and most of its food brands to concentrate on strengths such as personal-care goods. Though big-company CEOs are more optimistic than at anytime in more than a year, they remain cautious, according to a November 2009 survey by the Business Roundtable. Nearly one-third of the 111 executives who responded to the survey expect to reduce their U.S. payrolls through the middle of 2010; only 19 percent expect their payrolls to grow in that period.