ZIFFPAGE TITLEGuarded Optimism

By Mel Duvall  |  Posted 2005-03-07 Email Print this article Print

The beverage maker is being spun off from Procter & Gamble. In 12 months, it plans to run a $600 million business with a technology staff of—count 'em—six.

Guarded Optimism

As he watches Sunny Delight's new technology infrastructure take shape, president Cyr says he's confident in the plan, but admits to being a little nervous. Just before Christmas, he walked into Winholt's office and warned, "I don't want to be the next Hershey!" referring to an SAP installation that stumbled, resulting in around $150 million in lost sales.

In addition to being involved in strategic software decisions, Cyr has made a point of letting Winholt know that he wants to be told when there's an issue before it develops into a problem. "I've said, 'If you need people or resources, let me know and we'll get them,'" he points out. "I don't want to be surprised."

Cyr knows there are a lot of people following Sunny Delight's technology transformation. J.W. Childs is looking to apply processes from the outsourcing confederation to its next orphan purchase. Procter & Gamble has maintained a 9% interest in the new Sunny Delight, and has an executive on the board of directors observing each move. Lessons learned here will likely be applied to the next P&G divestiture.

"The long-term plan is to gear this company up to focus on growth again," Cyr points out. "We plan to build the business and expand in new areas. But right now, all of our attention is on completing the transition. We have to learn how to walk first."

Contributing Editor
Mel Duvall is a veteran business and technology journalist, having written for a variety of daily newspapers and magazines for 17 years. Most recently he was the Business Commerce Editor for Interactive Week, and previously served as a senior business writer for The Financial Post.


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