This board has as much life in it as the fragrance division of IFF. The changes prove the axiom that you can fool all of the people (on the board) all of the time. Is the CEO blind? When did the French get the knowhow to brainwash so many people? We suspect most non-French are Stepford Wives. Those left with a brain speak in codes. This is the reverse of the Arab spring. The French junta has killed free speech and everything else. We wait, quietly for the inevitable coup. The silent majority.
Problem is that when you take a fine fragrance guy and put him in charge of increasing the prices of fragrance ingredients, if he doesn't listen to people telling him the difference between specialities and off-patent commodities, you end up with the massive volume drops that they have experienced.
Since Q3 2011 the Fragrance Ingredients business has tanked, why because they got too greedy on prices and forgot that the "added convenience" or "safety" or "ease of doing business" with an American or European company over an Indian or Chinese company had its price - push the gap too hard and the commodities will start coming in by the FCL and your volumes evaporate.
Shame that IFF did not have smart fragrance at-the-sharp-end strategic experts that they listened to.
Better an Australian who knows what he is talking about than a Frenchman who believes his own BS.
It becomes said when you use the word commodity and fragrance in the same sentence... but true: To be fair it is not only them. The Fragrance business has done it to them. The point of difference between the majors and the minors is not significant any longer. There was a time when you had the big three and everyone else picked up the scraps they did not want. Now, the mom & pop operations are being invited for either price, ease of doing business or 'added value'. I would have thought that these mom & pop's would have been taken over or pushed out. Not the case. The small players are 'winning' and growing.
No longer a leader - now a follower:
Example - technologies, ingredients, consumer insights. What was once their breakthrough is now a cut and paste or something somebody upstairs read about and 'now we must do it better' - it has gotten old.
I will say they still have a very motivational leader on the fragrance side - whether you like it or not, he is one of the best, if not the best: what has happen I do not know - too far away from it now.
As for being sold - wake up - this has been going on for 20 years - they will be sold, somebody else will be sold - get real - nobody in the industry will take that leap - no body. Outside, well maybe - but how do you take a creative business and turn it into a commodity business (I know, I know, that’s what it has become… no it hasn’t!!!)?, because that is what will happen if a chemical company or manufacturer gets involved in the F&F industry - there is a reason there are very, very few public F&F companies - this is not consumer goods, or telecom - way more complex, and way more 'hidden costs'.
Back to the business today - I just hope that those that have been 'thru it' have landed and are doing well. What's left is what they have always wanted - and we all know how that saying goes...