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BEC商务英语中级阅读练习题(4)

2018-05-16 17:04:00 来源:网络BEC资料下载

  为了方便同学们的BEC商务英语学习,新东方在线BEC商务英语网为大家准备了BEC商务英语中级阅读练习题(4),供大家阅读参考,希望以下内容能够为同学们的BEC商务英语考试提供帮助。更多有关BEC商务英语考试的内容,尽在新东方在线BEC商务英语网!

>>>点击查看BEC商务英语中级阅读练习题汇总

  Critical Path

  When David Hayden realised his company was heading for trouble, he took drastic measures to get it back on track

  David Hayden founded his company, Critical Path, an email provider, in 1997 to take advantage of the boom in email traffic. Critical Path became a public company two years later, and Hayden took the opportunity to step down from his executive position in order to work on personal projects. At the same time, he agreed to stay with the company as Chairman, but the business was put in the hands of new managers by its investors. With sector-leading products and an expanding market, the company seemed to be on the up and up. However, by early 2001, it was in trouble. Shares that had been worth $26 in 1999, when they were first sold, were down to a mere 24 cents.

  Called in by a panicking board, Hayden found himself back in charge as Executive Chairman, trying desperately to rescue what he could. The 1,100 staff had lost confidence in the company and did not know what was going to happen to them. And, as Hayden discovered, the management team was incompetent. Those guys didn't understand the product or the sector, says Hayden. The heads of department didn't communicate and they didn't lead.' But what was worse, Critical Path had lost the goodwill of its investors.

  Hayden knew that bringing the figures under control would be a vital step in the company's turnaround. 'You've got to sort out the finances. For me, that meant getting back the goodwill of the investors. That was tough, after what had happened. But although they were angry with the company, they didn't have bad feelings about me. I told them that I knew I could get the company on its feet again.' He was authorised to make whatever changes were required, and his first act was to find people within the company he could trust and put them in charge.

  The next thing Hayden had to tackle was morale. 'Everyone left the office at five on the dot - they couldn't get away quickly enough. To get the buzz back and win the staff over, I had to prove my own commitment and put in the extra hours with them.' In return, it was assumed that nobody would ask for overtime pay until the company was on its feet again. Contrary to normal practice, Hayden was reluctant to lay people off, and apart from not replacing people as they reached retirement age, he left the workforce largely unchanged, although he did identify key people throughout the company who were given more responsibility.

  But, as Hayden insists, before a company reaches such a crisis, there are warning signs that any financial director or accountant should take note of. 'A business that has an unrealistic pricing policy or has to negotiate extended credit with its suppliers is in trouble,' is his message. 'Or if you often have to apply for your overdraft limit to be raised or have trouble paying tax on time, something needs to be done.'

  By 2003, the company was healthy again, with reasonably stable finances and a modest but steady share price of $1.60. 'One thing that helped save us was that our technology worked,' says Hayden. 'With 20 million email accounts, we never lost a single major client because the product kept on working.' With ideas for a fresh venture demanding his attention elsewhere, Hayden has moved on. 'It was time to go,' he says. 'I'm not a turnaround specialist. I prefer start-ups.'

  13 What event coincided with Critical Path becoming a public company?

  A Hayden became the Executive Director of Critical Path. B Investors hired a replacement team to run Critical Path.

  C Critical Path launched a successful new product on the market.

  D Critical Path was floated on the Stock Exchange at 24 cents per share.

  14 Which of the following situations did Hayden face at Critical Path in 2001?

  A The employees were worried about job security. B The investors were calling for changes to the company structure.

  C The management was misleading the staff about the company's position.

  D The board of directors did not realise the scale of the company's problems.

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