Monday, August 17, 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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Florida Midget said...

John: Thanks for the heads up on this one. It will be interesting to see which division are slashed, chopped or sold. One thing to look forward for is the fact that Bain is very savvy as to IP and policing IP. If Getty has been slow on the uptake to assert infringement suits in the past, look for that activity to increase. Its their common MO in many acquisitions and consults.

Alex said...

Well, if they force Getty to shoot images like they feature on their own website, then Getty surely is in trouble.
What a boring ass site!!!!

Media experts huh????......

Andy said...

The first thing that came to mind after reading this was the image of "the Bobs" from the movie Office Space.

Anonymous said...

Finally, the buyers of GYI (H&F) have realized that not only did they purchase 2.1 billion dollars worth of images on a server but they bought a company that has way too much overhead (editorially speaking) and not much return to show for it.

I can see it now, some Harvard Businenss grad who works at Bain at the Teen Choice awards ( after getting excited after having Britney walk past him) scratching his head saying, " wait, there are 3 brands at the same event, times about 8 photographers shooting THE SAME THING and 10 editors trying to beat each other over the head looking over their shoulder at AP!

I can't wait until they see the money wasted at both NY Fashion Week and Toronto Film Festival. This time next year, the staff gets cut by half. I guarantee it. Wire Image is the only valuable asset for editorial at Getty. The rest of it is just a waste of time.

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