THEY are called “movers and shakers” because they initiate events and influence people, even whole industries. So it is, when Jay R. Shedd busts a move, people and things get all shook up…Guamblog predicts major aftershock as this business titan bails on Docomo. Expect the telecom and media landscape to be transformed once again as this man moves and shakes. There has to be some serious fallout in Tokyo right now, with the real question about what will happen next without the King Rex at the helm.
POLITICS takes a back seat this week as business gossip spins out into viral overload. Wags have been afire with the news of another seismic shift in the local media landscape…and, once again, at the epicenter is regional business titan Jay Shedd.
Last week, news leaked of the Docomo Pacific chief executive officer’s resignation, sending temblors through boardrooms and offices all over the island. Now, word comes of a fierce, but furtive competition taking place among media and telecom interests as companies hastily strategize their potential for the acquisition of the island’s most valuable free agent.
Having led a small mobile phone company to the apex of the regional telecom universe, Shedd was key to transforming that company into a stellar giant with the acquisition and merger of the region’s largest cable service provider.
Rarely are companies afforded the opportunity to scoop such an enormous professional talent from the market place, right here in our own backyard. Shedd is more than just a superstar entrepreneurial free agent; signing him to “the team” would be akin to bringing Phil Jackson on board.
Only recently, Shedd took to the business battlefield with the 800-strong member companies of the National Cable Television Cooperative in a successful challenge to the avarice of Sumner Redstone and his global mass media company Viacom. They successfully defeated Viacom’s attempt to bleed cable providers for more money, a move that could have seen local cable subscriber bills soar by as much as 40 percent.
The Guam grapevine, usually reserved for sizzling political speculation, is ablaze with chatter about Shedd’s future and where he will end up. Undoubtedly, as technology drives further integration and transformation of media and content delivery, Shedd’s unparalleled experience and acumen would contribute to the value quotient of any company he signs with to the next level.
On the other hand, it could be that after two decades as an innovator at the vanguard of telecommunications and media in the Marianas, playing a key role in the transformation of the industry here and in the CNMI, Shedd could be ready to kick back and relish the fruits of his hard work – and the joys of his young family.
Whatever choice this titanic business leader makes in the coming days, it cannot go unnoticed that in his wake, the staggering loss creates an enormous vacuum of leadership at Docomo. And slowly, that void is starting to be filled with concerns among larger Docomo customers about what Shedd’s departure will mean to their businesses. Certainly, it won’t be long before residential subscribers begin to wonder what Shedd’s abrupt departure means to them…and then there are the employees. The best and brightest like to to stick together once they have found each other. Docomo’s stunning loss could see be the start of an exodus of the most talented, and committed employees as they would, no doubt, want to follow this business leader wherever he might go.
The acquisition of the former Docomo CEO by a local telecom or media enterprise would be a major coup. It promises an exciting new shake up for businesses, and anyone else whose lives revolve around their phones, internet and cable services – and that could be a very good thing for customers!