More info on Serottagate. I wonder what this portends (if anything) for Mad Fiber?
1) Serotta (the guy) and Serotta CEO (Watkins) fired by Divine Cycling group, and Serotta (the guy) is pissed.
2) Serotta (the company) to do contract manufacturing (not sure about also under Serotta brand?).
3) Dueling accounts put out last week by Divine Cycling Group and Serotta (the guy)/Serotta CEO about what was happening.
In a press release earlier this week, the new management reported it is aiming to expand production at the Saratoga Springs facility. Under a plan to restructure the business, they plan to produce bicycles for other companies.
This news came as a surprise to Ben Serotta, who started the firm in 1972, and to Watkins, who came on board as DCG’s interim CEO in October 2012.
“We had no clue about the contract manufacturing,” Watkins said, adding that direction might prove difficult for DCG. “The Serotta craftsmen are wonderful people. I have the deepest respect and admiration for them. They build in bikes what Ferrari builds in cars. Ferrari wouldn’t want to build some little Chevy car.”
Serotta and Watkins said they were startled again when they were both terminated without cause — Sunday and Monday, respectively.
“My cell phone rang, and I instinctively answered it,” Serotta wrote in a letter to The Saratogian Thursday. “One of the current company owners was on the other end, and he coldly stated, ‘I am terminating you. Your email password has been changed and your building access code has been deleted. You can arrange to get your personal things Tuesday.’ And with that (no cause was given), my life at Serotta, the company, came to an abrupt end.”
Watkins said his own dismissal came by way of a voice mail and a text.
A less colorful account here
The company, which last week laid off 40 percent of its workforce, became part of Divine Cycling Group Inc. in mid-June. DCG has implemented a restructuring plan that includes seeking contracts to build bikes for other brands, said Brian Case, a DCG director.
Ben Serotta, who founded Serotta in 1972, left the company as part of the management transition. CEO Bill Watkins, who joined Serotta less than a year ago, also has resigned.
Bicycle Retailer articles from last week with Serotta/Serotta management point of view http://www.bicycleretailer.com/north-america/2013/07/31/serotta-lays-40-workforce-planning-shutdown#.UgUWIT8pj4h
, somewhat contrasting with Divine Cycling Group]s account of developments.
Serotta's "farewell" letter: http://www.bicycleretailer.com/north-america/2013/08/07/ben-serottas-letter-cycling-community#.UgUuLD8pj4g