Tuesday, May 6, 2008

The breaking storm


Our parent firm, Medtronic, announced today that, as part of a worldwide re-organization, they will transfer all product responsibilities back to Minneapolis, closing our facility in the Netherlands.

Our product, the Reveal monitor, has done well in the market this year, with new product introductions increasing sales 70% worldwide and bringing us close to profitability in our second year of operations. However, the strong euro and the logistical distance to the Netherlands has increased our costs, and US senior management believes that their investment in the product will be more efficient if managed locally. We told everyone here in Arnhem today (just over 200 people); it's a very difficult thing to have to do and a great disappointment to everyone who worked hard on the business.

I'm also proud of our team's accomplishments over the past 14 months: we succeeded in defining a significant new business, completed a design prototype, and established technical feasibility. Our core project team achieved a solid entrepreneurial success, moving from concept through to clinical trials in a remarkably short period. More generally, living in the Netherlands has been a great opportunity for me personally: as all the Flickr pictures and blog postings show, I've had fun exploring the country, learning Dutch, and becoming part of the local community.

For the moment, my focus is for people here: since the decision was handed down only last Friday, a lot of planning remains to be done. I'll continue working with the rest of the management team here as we begin to wind things down. Beyond that, I'll move on to a new opportunity, hopefully in the Netherlands or Europe.

I'll regularly let you know how things progress over the coming months.


Textual Healer said...

A bolt from the blue! Such are the vagaries of working for a monster corporation - or corporate monster. Good luck job hunting

Dave Hampton said...

Thanks for the encouragement: it is definitely going to be a very difficult time. Not so much on the job front (something good will turn up), but to complete the transfer and closure of a company that so many worked hard to build.

You had a similar surprise last year, didn't you?

Textual Healer said...

In a way.

Nick said...

Wow, that's a big blow, particularly as you say after all that's been achieved up till now. Upsetting for employees who've worked so hard in the hope their efforts will be rewarded. Now they have to start again somewhere else. Unfortunately there's just no predicting when the company you're working for will decide one day your office is not viable. Job security gets more and more shaky. Anyway, best of luck with your next move - hopefully to something bigger and better!

Anonymous said...

Sorry to hear about the recent corporate shake-up. However, I'm sure there will be some wonderful opportunities awaiting you.

Just wanted to add one more thing... I enjoy reading your blog. Keep up the great work!

Dave Hampton said...

'sorry for the delayed reply: I've been on the road for the past couple of weeks.

Thanks for the comments and the encouragement: I appreciate you taking time to look in and to share a thought. There are up-days and down, but I feel confident that good things will come of this.