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Lumber Liquidators – The Laminate Saga Continues

Sometimes, all you have to do is say sorry. Unless you're running an American Corporate giant, in which case you just behave like a hooligan, then resign.

He’s resigned. And this is not a good announcement.

The CEO of American Flooring giants Lumber Liquidators, Robert Lynch, has suddenly quit the company after it became embroiled in a laminate flooring investigation. And this just goes to prove that unless you handle a problem correctly, it’s just not going to disappear into the ether. Arrogance is an ugly quality in today’s business world, and I’m surprised that a small army of PR consultants haven’t been drafted in to teach them a little humility, and good customer relations.

Now, I’m only guessing of course, but if I had to choose between the integrity of ’60 Minutes’ and Lumber Liquidators, I know where my money would be. And if 60 Minutes were wrong about the suspected levels of formaldehyde in the Chinese made laminate flooring sold by Lumber Liquidators, then why haven’t they sued. Because the longer this goes on, the more expensive it’s going to be in the long run in terms of stock market valuation, and reputation. The sudden resignation of a CEO just says to me ‘We’re guilty, I don’t know how to handle the situation, so I’m off before the shit and the fan collide’ Why else would he quit.

The company have stated that out of all the testing kits sent to customers , 97% came back showing that the levels of formaldehyde were within the World Health Organisations guidelines. So why have they suspended sales of all laminate flooring. I wonder if it has anything to do with the fact that the Justice Dept. is seeking criminal charges against the company.

The bottom line in business terms is this. The share price has dropped nearly 73% over the past year, customers have lost confidence, investors have lost confidence, and the company is perilously close to having a major catastrophe on their hands, when all they had to do was apologise.

I always thought the Brits were better at apologising than the Yanks, but this week has proved me wrong. Thompson Holidays has left me feeling a little embarrassed to be British.

The more arrogant CEO’s resigning, the better.