Bill Medlin is no longer the CEO of Confluence Watersports following a 4 p.m. decision Monday to oust him. This decision comes only five days after Confluence was forced by the company's new majority owner, American Capital Strategies (ACS), to eliminate approximately 30 percent of its workforce. Bob Sharp, of American Capital Strategies, will likely be the interim CEO pending a majority vote from Confluence's Board of Directors. Calls to Sharp's ACS headquarters office and his mobile phone went unreturned.
SNEWS View: Unfortunately, Medlin, as likeable a CEO as you will ever meet, began digging his own grave with comments published in a news report (not in SNEWS) -- comments that we have learned were likely intended as off-the-record. Medlin was probably also targeted for an exit since ACS has a very different business strategy from Medlin's. ACS is now firmly in control of Confluence with one of its own sitting at the head of the company table. The next hired CEO -- a headhunting firm is already working -- will certainly be cut from the same cloth as ACS corporate folks. What's this mean for Confluence? It means that every design, every idea, every company breath, will have to run muster with a financial and business review. It will mean that the company is more bottom-line driven than ever. Make no mistake, as far as ACS is concerned, it can run Confluence like any other company whether that company is selling toilet paper or chewing gum. Boats are just another product chapter in a financial book that recommends game plans from tried-and-true economic case studies. That's not necessarily a bad thing, as long as the ACS team takes the time to understand the practical side of our industry and listen carefully to what remaining members of Confluence's executive team have to say before they make any business decisions.