Multititle business supplier Executive Greetings is going through a rough patch. In early January the $100 million cataloger cut 99 jobs, or nearly one-fifth of its work force. Two weeks later, on Jan. 22, CEO Joel Hughes resigned.
Employees were laid off at Executive Greetings’ New Hartford, CT, headquarters; its New Britain, CT, telemarketing center; and its Grand Prairie, TX, production plant. The cataloger now has roughly 400 employees.
Executive Greetings sells customized promotional products, greeting cards, and business forms. Its catalogs include greeting card books Brookhollow and Greenwoods Collection, promotional products title Go Promos, business forms catalogs The Drawing Board and Grayarc, planner catalog U.S. Diary, human-resources supplies title HRdirect, and safety signage marketer SA-SO.
San Francisco-based buyout firm Behrman Capital had acquired a 60% stake of Executive Greetings in November 1999 for about $273 million in total financing. New York-based Tandem Investments owns the remainder of the company. At the time of its investment, Behrman had set aside about $60 million for further acquisitions by Executive Greetings. But in April 2001, it cancelled the acquisition program.
Neither Behrman Capital nor Executive Greetings had returned calls by press time. Apparently, though, the company is feeling the effects of budget-tightening at client companies, some of which cut back on mailing cards to their own clients and vendors this past holiday season. In an interview with the Waterbury (CT) Republican-American prior to resigning, Hughes said that Executive Greetings’ woes are “a combination of the economy and a residual effect of [the] terrorism and anthrax scare” of 2001.
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