While I do think that Block needs to promote from within and place those who have actual tax experience in charge of tax operations, Phil Mazzini was a pretty stand up guy and I don't see the need for his removal.
Wall street demands quick fixes. And loves 'reorganizing', downsizing, becoming more nimble, etc etc --in other words firing people to cut expenses. . Obviously this cannot lead to higher revenue, but if earning per share increases, then it may be a 'success'. So the flaw in the free EZ plan is (by Wall Street Standards) , even if it works, it requires converting these free to paid returns 'down the road'. Well if 'down the road' is more than 3 months that is too long. In the meantime no one bought this 'record number of returns' or increase in market share. The numbers were pumped up by new free clients, but an almost equal number of old paying clents were lost. And eps were down about 20%. So it sems to me that the retail business is losing customers at the same rate as before the free EZ program.
This reminds me of a story I once heard. A new CEO had been hired to replace the old one, and as the previous CEO was leaving he said, "I've prepared three envelopes for you. They're in the top left drawer. When things look the most bleak, open one of those."
Well, it didn't take long for the new CEO to get overwhelmed with the issues, so he opened the first envelope. It said "Blame your predecessor". So he did. That worked to take the heat off for a while, but in a few months it was back to a bleak outlook so he opened the second enveolope. Inside, the message said "Reorganize". Brilliant! So he regorganized all the departments of the company, realligning priorities, implementing Six Sigma, and all sorts of other proactive steps to turn things around. And it worked... for a while. But of course, these bandaids only prolonged the agony, and soon things looked bleak again. So he finally opened the third envelope. The message inside read, "Prepare 3 envelopes."
I am so disappointed in Block, watching this stock tumble again.
50+ years in business they've had the perfect role model for all the years there was growth, yet, they still can't seem to pull it together.
It's top heavy with mindless wonders, who don't seem to have any business sense.
It's one boondoggle after another. I KNEW those free returns wouldn't work with the way they were doing them. When Liberty says FREE, the whole ball of wax is free, not just 2-3 lines on the 1040EZ that confused people, and made them angry. People recognize bait and switch!
I KNOW an office doesn't do well, when the experienced pros walk out, yet, Block won't acknowledge it.
I had a client at Block for over 8 years, who came in every year. I'd tell him he didn't have to file, we'd gab, and he would leave. 8 years after I left Block the man got an IRS letter that he had to file for the last 3 years (he sold stock) and he looked for me! This is not to brag, it's to show clients want the preparer they're comfortable with and trust. While I didn't remember him, at 80, he remembered me. You can bet this is going on for all past preparers that Block never took the time to ask why they were leaving. They sure love counting retention, but will do nothing to hang on to their pros.
Tax service is a good strong growing business. Block had the best tax courses, best pay, and best working conditions, even when they didn't supply us with pens or staplers, it was such fun to work there, we supplied our own.
It's time for Block to go backwards and put employees and clients first, and CEO & management pay last for the damage they did!
"Someone explain to me again how laying off people and using the money to buy stock helps "grow" a business...." (patricka5)
Remember that the guys ultimately in charge at Block approach problems from an investment point of view (or perhaps even a "corporate turn-a-around" point of view).
Unfortunately, they seem to have only a limited number of solutions even from this angle. For example, how exactly how many times can the company effectively become "more nimble"? or more "client centric."
I suggest they fire all the Block Talkers and discontinue Block's blog site. I've click on at least 4 profiles and not one has any experience in the tax field. Besides, do we really need an overpaid 20something blogger to remind us about Earth Day or that "someone" claimed a bath oil deduction for dry skin? Or how about Block's Facebook admin? Asking the world which are our favorite Jelly Beans? How do I sign up for one of these cush gigs?