I worked for three companies during the course of my career. I spent 12 years at the first, was ‘acquired’ by the second (where I spent another 12 years), and capped off my career at the third (for 3 years). All three were large, multinational ‘MegaCorps’ and blue-chip companies.
Even though it’s been almost 4 years since I wound down my last days at my final MegaCorp, I still find myself following their financial performance. Anytime I see an article in the business press on any of the MegaCorps I worked with, I give them a quick read. I even still get a weekly ‘Google Alert’ for the top stories involving any of the companies.
I’m connected with hundreds of former colleagues through LinkedIn, keep up on what they post, and regularly catch coffee/lunch with more than a dozen MegaCorp friends in person. They typically tell me how awful MegaCorp life has become. I don’t have much MegaCorp stock or stock options left (as a % of our FIRE nest egg), but I’m always interested in how they think the company is doing.
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If they think the company is doing poorly, employees are usually right-on with their perceptions. If they think the company is doing well, their perceptions are usually only right half the time. Yesterday, my MegaCorp #3 reported their Q3 results which former colleagues had already told me were likely to be ugly. Stock fell -5%.
I think that’s why people become more jaded later in their careers. For some reason, every earnings ‘miss’ takes a lot more out of you than every ‘beat’.
I used to have a boss who counted down his journey to retirement in terms of the number of quarterly financial roll-up meetings he needed to attend. He found them excruciating and would say, “I’ve been here for 120 of them and only have 5-4-3-2-1 left!”
His last meeting finally came, but like me – and maybe you – I’m sure he still watches MegaCorp’s quarterly earnings reports.
How closely do you keep up with your former MegaCorp’s financial performance?
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6 thoughts on “Tracking MegaCorp Performance”
As an agency guy, MegaCorp were my clients. Over 30 were Fortune 500 companies during a span of five decades. So I only glance now and then. As an investor, I thrive if they do (but my Financial Advisor handles all those details for me). My experiences taught me that the “jaded” syndrome was life’s way of telling you it’s time to leave. The younger folks don’t know any better! 😜
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How about your last ad agency MegaCorp? Follow them still? Curiously, I saw they opened a drug store on the Champs Elysees in Paris when I was there. Odd endeavor / branding – but a nice store.
I just had a beer with a former colleague over the weekend. He’s a great guy, and it’s been great seeing him and catching up on his life about once a month since leaving. However…by the end of this particular visit, to my favorite local brewery, I realized how exhausted I was hearing the horror stories from work. It was absolutely draining! Like being right back in the mire, and the cold beer didn’t even lessen the pain! Now two and a half years out of the muck, I find my self less and less interested in the company and how it’s doing.
I confess, I do still read the headlines and occasionally check the stock price (only out of curiousity because I no longer own shares…thank God!), but that’s about it for me. My Mega-Corp was very recently part of a mega-billion (yes…with a “B”) settlement (If you’ve read any business headlines in recent weeks, you can guess that I worked in big Pharma for most of my 25+ years). #NotMissingMegaCorpAtAll!
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Yes, that’s true! I’ve had that experience too. When someone just wants to run down all of the office politics and bad decisions at MegaCorp. It’s fun to hear the big picture for a few minutes, but an hour of “At the next meeting, Joe said … “. Ugh.
I used to follow my MegaCorp’s earnings reports very closely for the first 7 or 8 years after I left. Not so much in the last 4 or 5 years after having a kid. After I stopped following the reports, my company’s stock did a 20x moonshot in price.
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Wow – 20x. That’s quite a moonshot, indeed! Good thing you stopped watching it closely. Hopefully, you still had some of that stock!