Feb 8, 2010

Josh Linkner Steps Down

Mirror mirror on the wall... is Josh Linkner the greatest CEO of all?

Josh, you are fair, 'tis true, but there is another fairer than you.

Today Josh Linkner announced officially that he's stepping down as the CEO of ePrize, LLC. His replacement, Matt Wise is coming in from Chicago's Q Interactive to take over the reigns. Though Josh will stay on as "chairman" -- focusing on innovation and sales -- it'll be interesting to see how he interacts with Wise. Will he chafe under Wise's "full operational control" or will he take a back seat? Or will he only he be a figurehead? The details of the deal Linkner made with the Board of Directors has yet to be revealed.

I find it very difficult to believe that Linkner went to the Board and humbly told them that the mirror told him he couldn't cut it as the CEO of the company he wanted ePrize to be. I find it much easier to swallow the the Board finally put an end to his rampant spending and maybe even curtailed the skirt-chasing.

Despite the claim that only one offer had been made for the CEO position, inside sources say that a big baller from the East Coast, George Russel, was the first person to whom the CEO offer was extended. Brian Hermelin (CEO of Active Aero in Belleville) and Gary Shiffman (CEO of Southfield-based Sun Communities) begged Russel to take the job. His response? "There's no value in trying to save this company." Zing!

Apparently, Wise must feel that there's still life in the old Purple, Red and Green monster. He'll be officially taking over on March 1st, the start of ePrize's eleventh year. Good luck, Matt, you'll need it!

62 comments:

Broad Shoulders said...

Was that the most well-rehearsed speech of all time?

If I were Wise (ha ha) my first thing to do would be to fire nearly all of the upper management. Though you know "The Chairman" isn't fire-able. I'm sure Linkner got that written into his contract.

Anonymous said...

Hey broad shoulders, nice job posting as soon as possible. If you hate this place so much why do you still work here?

Anonymous said...

I posted from work once and got fired. It was awesome.

Broad Shoulders said...

I'm hoping that things will get better but also keeping a look out for greener pastures. Ironic since all I see when I look around are green walls.

Anonymous said...

Heard they fired Gayle Taub (VP for Creative) Last Friday...

Broad's Knees said...

Wonder if the current executive team will be able to keep their jobs.

Anonymous said...

I'm surprised that this isn't up on the eprize blog... but then again it's pretty outdated - Promotion Commotion

Anonymous said...

They fired Gayle? It's about time. Of everyone I encountered there, she was one of worst "Person In Position of Power That Shouldn't Be" people. Good riddance.

Anonymous said...

Yeah - Gayle had to go. Totally over her head.

The Ghost of ePrize Past said...

Slightly off topic but I went to the Dockers promotion due to some of the negative comments that were in the Twittersphere about the site crapping out... Where the hell did the pride in workmanship go from ePrize? Those pages are damn sloppy. The way the page shifts from the intro to the registration form? Total crap.

Anonymous said...

gayle is an idiot. larry feldman was also fired- also an idiot. see the trend?

there are a few more idiots to go through. somehow they are still there.

Anonymous said...

This page is the equivalent of TMZ for ePrize. WTG

Anonymous said...

What took so long? This should have happened after the disasterous TB2 rollout.

Way to spend time money and resources building a platform that in NO WAY met client demands. Linkner and his TB2 team said "Let's build and sell a template" while the market said "We want unique product". Thus, having SE's resourced to every TB2 project in order to make the product meet demands.

Just ONE example of how that place is a failure.

Anonymous said...

I wanna know how you got your announcement up hours before the ePrize one: http://www.eprizeblog.com/index.php/2010/02/09/eprize-appoints-matt-wise-as-ceo/

Anonymous said...

I heard that Jordan Broad is getting fired at 4pm on Friday. It's already in the works and there's nothing he can do about it.

Anonymous said...

@Anonymous 2/09/2010 5:14 PM

One can only wish...

Anderson Cooper Reporting said...

I heard that aliens are taking over the board, and that Bill Clinton is going to be the new head of creative. I also heard that they are relocating the HQ to the lost city of Atlantis. I heard ePrize just got a $1 trillion bailout package from Obama, who is going to serve as a strategy advisor. Also, James Cameron's new film is a 3D thriller about the amazing world of ePrize.

What? These claims are as valid as most of the other stuff posted on this blog.

Anonymous said...

I'd like to see what claims are being made on the board that aren't true or haven't come true.

I still like all the people that said Josh would never step down as CEO...

Anonymous said...

I think "step down" is putting it favorably. The guy ran the place into the ground and was kicked out way toooo late for salvation.

Anonymous said...

Atlantis...that would ruin my commute

Dayton said...

I for one, will be hoping that the new and improved ePrize will grow like a weed. I’d love to see ePrize start hiring a bunch of good quality people and make it a fun place to work again. And this from someone that hasn’t worked there in years. There is a great bunch of people that work there and they should have a good place to work.
Nothing against Josh, but he’s really the type of guy that needs to create new companies. I don’t think he’s been happy for probably the last 5 or 6 years running a company that is constantly struggling. Lots of bad decisions all around.
I have a feeling that Josh will have another company under his belt in the next few years. He won’t sit still.
And another point, when is the last time you ever saw a CEO voluntarily step down from his job. Doesn’t happen. Ever. Of course the board fired him. That’s what good boards do.
Good luck to everyone.

Jake The Snake said...

Yeah, when I was looking for a new job a few years ago I was working with that snake Colin LaLonde - he would call me every few weeks and ask, "Has Josh sold ePrize yet?" He was certain that Josh was a "serial entrepreneur" and that ePrize was just a stepping stone to something else.

Maybe this will be the kick in the ass to get him moving to bigger and better things.

Insider said...

I know Josh very well and can share a few things. He did step down, he wasn't "fired" by the Board. He did it because he doesn't like running a big company and hates the pressures of the board and the bureaucrats. He really believes someone else will do a better job running ePrize at this point. Someone who both has skills in running a bigger company and also has the passion for it. Josh lost his passion for ePrize.

My guess - he won't be at ePrize a year from now. He'll go start a new company, and most of us (incuding me) would jump at the chance to be a part of it.

This board is making him look like a villain. He has done more for this region than you know. What would you bitch about if he never started ePrize. You all made money by working there not to mention grew in your career. What the fuck have you ever done other than criticize others?

Anonymous said...

WTF have I done? I made more in two years at another job than I made in five years at ePrize combined.

Also, I gave up my life for ePrize, working around the clock.

The day I got married I didn't go on a honeymoon, I came into work and pulled a twelve hour shift.

I'm sure other people have similar (or worse) tales of woe.

Anonymous said...

So are saying that either a) you were forced to do this at gunpoint, or b) you are stupid and decided to stay and be miserable for five years rather than leave.

I love how people like you blame others and play the victim but never take personal responsiblity for your own fate. Easier to blame the man that chart your own course? You are the dumbass that worked on your wedding day (which I highly doubt). You are pathetic.

Lorena Bobbitt said...

Yeah, I'm a dumb ass.

When you're the only one doing your job and the pressure's on... I sucked it up and came in. It was expected that everyone give every bit of themselves for the job. I did and got shit for it.

ePrize is like an abusive relationship - you don't know how bad it is until you can get some distance and counseling.

Fuck you Anonymous 2/10/2010 12:40 PM - you weren't there so you just don't know what it was like. To assume that you do just means double dumb ass on you.

Anonymous said...

Now, now, girls. You may smear your makeup with all this crying.

The thing that I can't understand about ePrize is just how shitty of a face they present to the world. I put their RSS feed of promotions onto my iGoogle page and -- wooo! -- it sucks. Never updated. If I click on the top three links that come up (all alphabetical, not chronological) they come up with 404s. Way to go!

Then again, they don't even have the RSS feed available on the portfolio page anymore - http://eprize.com/portfolio

Who the fuck kind of monkeys they got over there running this shit?

Anonymous said...

So is Jordan in? ...or OUT?

Anonymous said...

of the closet?

Anonymous said...

"The day I got married I didn't go on a honeymoon, I came into work and pulled a twelve hour shift."
You selfish bastard! You sure took time off for the wedding ceremony, didn't you? Sounds to me like somebody wasn't "all in".

Anonymous said...

Not to DEFEND those louses at ePrize, but I find this "wedding" story a little tough to beleive. If youre working on your wedding day, thats a personal issue.

Can any other eXPrizers validate the company making such demands?

Anonymous said...

"Can any other eXPrizers validate the company making such demands?"

Abso-freaking-lutely. I went years without vacation, weekends, holidays, evenings, and sick time. Once everyone was issued laptops, the free time was gone.
Now, it wasn't "we need you to work nights, weekends, etc. ", but the pressure to perform and meet unrealistic deadlines was beyond great. Everyone I knew at that company was at home working on Christmas.
So the wedding thing doesn't shock or surprise me at all.

Anonymous said...

Let me get this straight... you went "years without vacation, weekends, holidays, evenings, and sick time"?

So you worked every single day and night for multiple years? Well you are a total idiot if that is true. Why did you do that? Do you take any personal responsbilitiy at all for your own behavior?

Dean Ditto said...

Here's my story about ePrize. I was PMing a project and had already resigned, but was seeing the promo through to completion. It was a Saturday and the promo was scheduled to launch on Monday and still needed considerable work. I was hosting my father’s 60th b-day party that weekend with 50 people over to my house. It was also my daughter’s 2nd b-day party. ePrize did NOT get someone to cover me for that Saturday even though they new of my situation and that I had asked for coverage. It's Saturday early afternoon and I have VP's in the clients organization calling me at home (how they got my home # I dont know but can only imagine) asking for my help in getting some bugs fixed. I was put in a situation where it became apparent that the interview question "do you like to win or hate to lose" was not one of those questions without a right answer. ePrize wanted people that hated to lose so that when it came time for them to perform heroically they stepped up to the plate. I stepped up to the plate and my family paid the price. I missed most of my fathers and daughters party on the phone with clients in Boston and engineers in Pleasant Ridge. 3 years later my father died of cancer and the only thing that haunts me of his and my relationship was how I behaved at his birthday party. I did learn a valuable lesson from that experience and have never again put work so high above family. I've said it before, and I'll say it again: It's Josh's company to run the way he see's fit. If folks dont like it they should leave (although I am sure ePrize took advantage of the bad economy to remind folks that they are replaceable).

Dean Ditto said...

And then there's the matter of me having to work on Easter Sunday. "Did you find the eggs honey? That's great, sorry honey daddy is on the phone with TURKEY. We'll play later, and no there will be no church today. You and Mommy can go to Grammy and Grampy's house, daddy doesn't get good cell reception out there".

Anonymous said...

Wow. Dean Ditto- that is a terrible story and I have sympathy for you and that situation. But it sounds like it was 100% your own fault for not making them understand how important that day was supposed to be. You don't ask for backup- you tell them you need it.

I do not believe that shit would happen today at ePrize. And if it did - and you just sit there and take it up the butt - it's your own damn fault.

Dean Ditto said...

Anonymous, you weren't there were you? Did you hear me tell the powers that be that I needed coverage? I did. Did you hear them reply "we'll see if we can find someone"? I heard them. So is it my fault I let ePrize get away with it? Maybe but my concern was taking the fall for a shitty promo and getting a bad rep industry wide. By the way I also have enough guts to put my name on my post, that's how much I stand behind my story. How about you? Didn't think so. Coward.

Dean Ditto said...

One more thing. Blake Atler was a rock star. 'nuff said.

Anonymous said...

I hear that AJ has been dismissed. Is this the start of the family cleaning?

Jeremy Walker said...

Was someone disparaging Blake, because that would be ridiculous. He's absolutely a rock star and one of the professionals I have had the pleasure of working with.

@Anonymous who thinks Dean is at fault and not taking personal responsibility. Seriously did he touch a nerve. Why so defensive? Also why so absolutely adamant? The world is a turbulent place that requires flexibility, including the ability to react well when things go poorly. Maybe Dean has some qualities and experiences you don't know about. I'd find out before I made such uninformed blanket statements. Of course its easy when you are an anonymous coward.

Would you have simply abandoned the client and told them its not my problem because my company didn't give me the support I requested? That doesn't sound like the ePrize I knew and loved. In fact it doesn't sound very professional at all. Really it sounds like a great way to kill a company that is in start up mode, which shockingly ePrize still was when Dean was working there.

To me It sounds like a great way to get known as someone who can't be counted on in the industry. It would be a shame to tarnish your professional image in order to take an ethical stand against your "victimization". To each his own however, we all have our different ethos. Inform us of how you would have handled the situation so we can tell you in which fashion you are right, wrong, naive, amazing or taking it up the butt! I'd love to know if ePrize is employing people that simply quit or refuse to work when things don't go their way.

You might notice Dean doesn't work at ePrize anymore. Perhaps he decided not to take it up the butt as you so elegantly put it. (Were you really going for the sodomy rape analogy or am I giving you too much credit for being a total asshole?). Someday I hope you have the maturity and experience to overcome the myopic worldview that makes you incapable of seeing where Dean is coming from or even realizing what you yourself are saying. Once again, you weren't there, you have no idea what you are talking about. You honestly sound a little naive to me. A/S/L please, I may have a bridge to sell you.

I'm glad you are capable of sounding compassionate even if you can't fully comprehend what may have happened. If you really believe in what you are saying, climb out of the shadow of your anonymity and stop being such an entertaining gas bag troll, and start being a legitimate example of why the current ePrize is great. Or don't. Either way I get a laugh.

If you are truly accountable for your actions and willing to take responsibility you wouldn't be anonymous. Its kind of bizarre that so many are willing to be anonymous dicks in defense of ePrize but so few, if any, are willing to be publicly accountable for defending the company. Explain that one to me. Do you fear retribution for speaking up for your employer? Using colorful language with such vivid imagery doesn't really paint you as an ideal representative of ePrize, honestly. Mike are you playing around again :)

Show me the quality and integrity!

P.S. Dean doesn't take it in the butt from anyone, if you knew him you'd know that. Not to say there's anything wrong with that, I'm sure quite a few ePrizers do partake in that activity, and enjoy it!

P.P.S. Granted he was a huge fan of thickandwide.com, I remember when he would brag about taking two of those monsters down. God the Coke room must have smelled bad with the three of us in there eating monster burgers.

Dayton said...

@JW & @DD WOOT!!!

And yes the Coke room still smelled for months even after it was relased back to the general population

Peter Menner said...

The anonymous poster critical of those who put in evening, weekend, and holiday hours was obviously not at ePrize back around 2006.
When the workload exceeded our ability to accomplish in reasonable time frames, we didn't refuse to complete tasks. There was no additional resources to help us and we believed in taking personal responsibility to get the job done, even when it cost us time with our families (which it frequently did).
I know Dean. To suggest that he somehow failed to communicate the importance of his situation to ePrize management is plain ignorant.
I worked with him that Easter and took time away from my family as well. There was no alternative but to get that Turkish Coke promotion launched on time.
Every single member of the production and PM teams back then went through the exact same experience.
I wonder how many current ePrize employees could be counted on to get the job done as much as Dean and Jeremy.
So, Anonymous at 2/19/2010 2:18 AM, either man-up and put your name to your words, or shut up about things you obviously don't know much about

Anonymous said...

You are correct. I have no idea what I'm talking about. I'm a brand new employee with no professional experience or background on the subject matter. I apologize to all offended parties. I'll go back to being a dick on other random forums now. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

... It's just been a tough week. My mom's totally ragging on me to get my room clean, and my MySpace girlfriend added this prick named Scott and she's letting him leave comments with hugs and hearts and crap. She's being a total whore! Anyway, again, I'm sorry I was being a douche.

Anonymous said...

It's amazing how much you all know about me! You are on a roll! Keep it coming!

Anonymous said...

"It's amazing how much you all know about me! You are on a roll! Keep it coming!"

Yeah, we do. "douche" pretty much sums it all up.

Anonymous said...

Wow this thread has turned into as big of a joke as that company is.

I am suprised that there has been no class action yet based on the work/wage disproportion in some areas of that company. However, that could always be coming soon

Anonymous said...

Totally. I am the world's largest douche. Finally someone else can see that.

exPrizer said...

Keep it up, anonymous, you're just proving your point of what a douche you are.

Anonymous said...

Why so much hate for an anonymous douche who apologized? He's obviously just fucking with you. And you're letting it annoy you.

Anonymous said...

Wouldn't the more appropriate term be "eDouche"?

Anonymous said...

If it is safe to even assume that he is from ePrize. what if he's an exPrizer? Would he then be an exDouche?

Anonymous said...

... until that box of crayons grows to about 350 or more, then the older, abused, "underachieving" crayons get thrown out in favor of new, cheaper crayons. Just sayin'.

Anonymous said...

Not so much anymore, Anonymous @ 2/24 - 1:31PM. They aren't getting cheaper people in because they haven't given raises to the cheap people in over 1.5 years. However- I'm sure they will be looking for crayon replacements once things start picking back up.

Anonymous said...

@The Ghost of ePrize Past - fyi - the Dockers promotion was creative provided by the client. it was also hosted within an iframe hosted by the client which was probably had something to do with the fact it went down.

Anonymous said...

so, can we get back to the original post? What is this Wise guy going to do to fix this company? Who on the executive team is still around and who is next on the chopping block? Jordan Broad? Jackie Trepanier? Jen Gray? Keep posting!

Teh ePrizer said...

All hail the Peter Principle...we legions salute you!

Anonymous said...

Has the new CEO started yet? What's the initial impression? Are people looking to get out?

Anonymous said...

He seems like a complete adult and spoke very candidly about what he's going to do in the next few months and some long-term possibilities. It was a night-and-day difference, hearing him talk, compared to our other "leaders". I'm not exaggerating when I say I was shocked and momentarily disoriented when he started speaking. You get used to the unprofessional incompetence, and start to tune it out, and then BAM! A real, live leader.

Dan said...

Interesting stuff guys...despite some of the comments that sound like they came from 5 year olds. Very well said Walker and Dean.
I haven't seen this site in years but someone reminded me of it the other day, and I'm curious how this new CEO will turn out. Hey, maybe he'll hire a COO too and the company will have a full running executive team!

I hope for the best for everyone still there and doing their best every day. So many great people have come and gone through that place, some of the best I ever had the privilege of working with, despite some of the obvious issues well echoed in the comments we see.

Dan said...

note to self: don't use the word "best" so many times. Clearly I'm tired from doing way too much work.

Anonymous said...

Josh is an ideas thief. He will never run out of ideas...keep stealing Josh..keep stealing..