First they sacked the chief executive, with a $2.7 million payoff.
Then they got rid of the piano tuners.
Next, they put the building up for sale.
And now they’ve flogged the entire company to a firm of asset strippers.
What does the decline and sale of Steinway call to mind?
Those with long memories or a copy of one of my books will remember the decline and fall of EMI, a former cornerstone of the music industry. For twenty years, as the market demanded greater ‘shareholder value’, successive bosses tried to sell the label to Hollywood and, defeated, walked away with big payoffs. Eventually, EMI was sold at way above its value to a group of asset strippers which, while slashing costs and trying to sell buildings, were themselves forced to sell it again.
EMI was divvied up between two rivals and erased from history.
The next chapter in Steinway’s story….