Friday, May 25, 2012

Companies Long Gone & Mostly Forgotten

Below is a list of companies that once had a major presence throughout most of the world.  Today, they are Out of business! Over the weekend, I was researching some of these companies to determine what happened to them.  At one time, they were the superheros of industry, today they are hardly remembered.

These companies have died in the past several years and I have listed what I believe caused their downfall.  Please update if you have others.  How many of these companies do you remember?

Once the pride and joy of young bicyclists – Schwinn Bicycle Company.  Name Is gone…Today owned by Nautilus.

T-shirts and others with the trademark – Fruit of the Loom.  Now owned by Warren Buffett.

Bethlehem Steel – Once the 2nd largest steel producer.  Totally out of business.

Polaroid – In the last decade or two, wiped off the planet due to digital photography.

Compaq – One of the big boys back in the day, owned by HP but no longer makes computers.

When EF Hutton speaks, people listen – apparently not after a scandal.  There is a potential revival happening 20 years after OB.

Eastern Airlines – One of the big 4 airlines who had a monopoly on the east Coast.  Strangled due to deregulation of industry in late 70’s

Pan AM – See Eastern, TWA and a long list of others.

FW Woolworths – one of my favorites as a youngster growing up.  The “5 & 10” store.  Died due to aggressive expansion into specialty.

Arthur Anderson -  Perhaps the largest accounting firms and one of the prestigious BIG 8 when I was in college – hemorrhaged due to scandal. 

Worldcom – Giant telecommunications company that went bye-bye due to accounting scandals.

Enron – See Worldcom, Arthur Anderson and a host of others.

Who will be next?  There are definitely some lessons to be learned from these once-super human companies. We should not forget about these companies, there are definitely some takeaways that caused their demise. 

I chose not to list the .com era on purpose. Perhaps for another day!

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