Asked what happened, Hess answers with a succinct email: "Complete turnover of top management, substantial inflows of cash from the fall of 2007 through the spring of 2008, Herrick lawsuits, proxy battles, and so on … and then throw in the biggest economic downturn in decades for good measure."
For Buker and the board, though, there is one upside to the depressed stock price: it's so low that the Herrick family is no longer eager to liquidate.
That doesn't mean, though, that they've abandoned their effort to shape the company they created. If anything, the conflict has grown more complex and bitter.
The next round in the ongoing fight will take place at the company's annual meeting this month. Both sides have nominated slates of four directors-so that whoever wins will control the seven-member board.
Whoever wins will then face the challenge of leading Tecumseh Products-not just from Tecumseh to Ann Arbor, but further, into the treacherous, fast-changing global economy.
[Originally published in May, 2009.]
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