Sunday, August 16, 2009

Enter The Efficiency Experts

More than one person has brought to our attention that Bain & Company has been hard at work at Getty Images. For the most of the world, Bain & Co is unknown, but in the financial and private equity world, calling in Bain & Co is like applying part nitros-oxide and part spoiler to your hoopty. In other words, for those along for the ride, it's part good, part bad.

Bain promotes on their website (here) that [they] " our clients...find new ways to lower costs..." and "Many media companies will need to make major organizational changes" (emphasis theirs) Their home page notes "We help management make the big decisions: on strategy, operations, mergers & acquisitions, technology and organization."

What does that mean for Getty?
(Continued after the Jump)

Well Bain consultants were looking over the shoulders and taking notes while Getty photographers and editors were busy covering the Teen Choice Awards last weekend. I can just imagine what the Bain consultants were writing. Maybe silly things like "...photographers in head on position must shoot fewer images..." or "...photographers in cutaway positions must focus more on audience reaction..." especially when there seems to be no images of Vanessa Hudgens reacting to Dane Cook's slight of her.

Bain's focus is on increasing the valuation of a company and there are a number of underperforming segments of the Getty operation. By doing so, Getty's owners, Heller & Friedman, will know which departments can be re-organized (meaning, staff reductions) and which should be closed altogether (ex: LA offices). Once the best performing divisions are identified (no surprise, iStockphoto will be among them) then H&F can begin shopping around those, and closing others.

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