If it is any consolation to Henri's Foods, this is one consumer who will think twice before buying a Kraft product in the future. I admire Robert Brachman's stand, but, then, I don't have to live with it.
The author replies: Mr. Swanson's list is a splendid addendum to Mr. Krueger's. I would draw special attention to two of his rules.
One, although "corporate suicide" is a legitimate worry, it must be balanced against the demoralizing effects of easy capitulation, which can be another form of untimely death on the corporate battlefield.
Two, it helps if your attorney's and your company's mutual interests go beyond retainer payments. William E. Glassner Jr., Henri's main counsel, was well qualified to direct the litigation and handsomely paid for his efforts; being a company director, however, he also had more than an academic interest in the suit's outcome. While not always a labor of love, his fight on Henri's behalf was an act of passion and tenacity. In this case, anyway, passion and tenacity beat some long and highly unfavorable odds.
"Lethargic" is not how I would describe my characterization of Henri's during the time of the lawsuit; perhaps the better term would be "distracted." There is no doubt in my mind that Henri's was and is a resourceful, innovative manufacturing company; such innovation surely did not cease during the long period of litigation. Still, I heard from many others connected to Henri's that the cost of fighting Kraft, fiscal and otherwise, had a retarding effect on many areas of the operation. That was my larger point. Indeed, mention of the Fuji machine was there merely to illustrate that flair for getting things done. At the time, Mr. Bayless told me that his team had, in fact, experienced some difficulties with then machine and had modified it accordingly -- a resourceful act if ever there was one.
Joseph P. Kahn