Cit Rca, Anthony Conrad, RCA discussed on TechStuff



So this was the man who had largely been associated with our C A. In fact, a lot of RCA's history tends to get tied directly to David Sarnoff. And his personality. He was a force to be reckoned with and his passing was probably one of the more remarkable things to happen to our C A during its full. History. It seems to me like this was a case of another leader of a company having an extreme influence on hell that company did business. You know, some leaders you would think they would have an extreme influence, but they may just help keep the company going while other people handle stuff, they might be more decentralised Sarnoff did not come across to me as that kind of person. Also in nineteen seventy-one RCA would get out of the mainframe, computer business. They sell it off to another company called universal automated, computer, better known as univac, and ultimately this computer business was unprofitable for RCA the sale represented at a huge loss for the company. According to some sources, I read mostly the New York Times it amounted to essentially a two hundred fifty million dollar right off, which wasn't great news. And in nineteen seventy five the board of directors. Decided to aalst Robert Sarnoff as chairman and CEO they felt that the attempts to diversify RCA had weakened the company. This this decide this exit from mainframe, computer business, also hurt the company. So this was essentially what some people referred to as a palace coup came from within the company itself and RCA president and chief operating officer Anthony Conrad led this coup attempt. Anthony Conrad I joined RCA way back in nineteen forty six after being discharged from the army after World War Two and had worked there ever since he had made his way up the corporate ladder and in the nineteen fifties. He was the executive in charge of overseeing RCA's missile and space tracking operations. And now he was the head of the company he became the new CEO and in June nineteen seventy six he was elected chairman RCA's performance was starting. To turn around. The company was beginning to make money things seem to be on the mend. However Conrad turned out to have some skeletons in his closet in September nineteen Seventy-six just ten months after he had taken control of the company Conrad announced he was resigning his position and it turned out. He had kinda sorta failed to file any income taxes for five years and the IRS kinda wanted to talk to him about it because the agency had held a routine enquiry and saw some irregularities. So Conrad would end up settling up with the IRS. He was essentially a fugitive in New York state for two years until he was able to reach a plea deal in which he paid a one thousand dollar fine. But also an undisclosed but presumably sizable amount of money in back taxes interest and penalties. So after he resigned a guy named Edgar h Griffiths took control of our CA Griffiths was concerned with getting RCA back on. Track from a numbers perspective. So he wasn't so much of a leader. As far as strategy and long term plans goes he was trying to get the numbers to lineup. So he began to divest the company of many of the subsidiaries that had been accumulating throughout its history since Robert Sarnoff had taken control stuff, like a, banquet foods and Hertz rental cars. So he's kind of trying to undo what Robert Sarnoff had done in nineteen eighty Griffiths directed RCA to purchase another company. So he sells off a lot of companies, but then he directs RCA to acquire a different company. This would be commercial investment trust or CIT and the deal was for one point three billion dollars or thereabouts a huge sum CIT is an investment company. And as the name suggests it provides financing to other companies after acquiring CIT RCA would sell off several subsidiary companies that had belonged. Two CIT including an office furniture manufacturing company and the greeting card company, which just tells me corporate, politics are weird and complicated. And I don't understand diversification. Very well. Anyway, this acquisition caused RCA's credit rating to drop and that made the board of directors vary upset so they demanded that Griffiths resign, and he did and in nineteen Eighty-one..

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