My time with ExecPC...

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Greg Ryan

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Feb 10, 1999, 3:00:00 AM2/10/99
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Monday, Feb. 8th was my last day at ExecPC.

The corporate restructuring of the company has found me out of a job
that I loved and cared about. Although I saw the writing on the wall
when Voyager acquired ExecPC, I didn’t expect it to happen this quickly.

Perhaps – by way of goodbye -- a little history is in order…

Bob and Tracey Mahoney hired me to help them with the ExecPC BBS. At
that time, they ran the BBS out of their basement. They had about 200
nodes or so and about 10,000 customers.

Right off the bat, I’d like to thank Bob for giving me this chance. He
didn’t know me very well when he hired me but his faith in me allowed me
to help take ExecPC to where they find themselves today.

I was senior Engineer at a small dental electronics company in Milwaukee
and when Bob approached me for this position (he and I had been casual
friends), I jumped at the chance. I was given a key to his basement and
told I had 24-hour privies to come and go as I pleased.

Bob and I redesigned and rewrote much of the BBS’s software (for you who
are interested, the BBS is written in Clipper, a database language). I
had never seen Clipper before, but Bob was a great boss and he was very
patient.

I wrote the QWK offline message system and the doors interface and
installed all of the doors. That was lotsa fun since ExecPC never had
doors before. Integrating currently available doors (games and
programs) was a challenge and it was amazing how excited some of the
users got when they got access to them. I also helped rewrite some of
the main part of the message system and much of the file system.

When the Internet hit, ExecPC was position very well to jump right in.
Since most of ExecPC’s customers were based out of the metro Milwaukee
area, it was a natural for them to use ExecPC for their new
telecommunications needs. We started hiring Internet people and soon
needed to move out of Bob’s basement and into an office building. We
chose a space in New Berlin for many reasons, one of which was Alpha.net
(an Internet provider in Milwaukee) was in the space next door.

The next years were exciting and fun! We hired people like crazy, many
of them right off the BBS. Most of the talent came from people who had
learned it on their own since they don’t teach you most of this stuff in
school. We experienced growth rates that sounded amazing…like 30% per
month. In a very short time, ExecPC owned the Milwaukee Internet market
(dial-up, that is) and we prided ourselves on terrific customer
service. We moved onward and outward setting up pops in remote cities
like Madison and Parkside. Bob Mahoney and I butted heads now and then
about how we should grow and how fast…but for the part, we agreed with
our strategy.

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention some of the wonderful people with
whom I had the opportunity to work. Curt Shambeau joined us when we
still a BBS and he was the fourth employee (I was the third after Bob
and Tracey Mahoney). Michael Mittelstadt started with the Internet days
and soon we hired Wayne Ferguson, Dave Cowen, Colleen Krawczyk, Marilyn
Looney, John Caven, Jake Buchholz, Jim McCarthy, Mitch Blank, Karen
Herman, the Friedel brothers, Rose Thomson (Rose and I go WAY back!),
Scott Jentsch and Sandy Stinson. This list is certainly not exhaustive
since ExecPC-WI has about 100 employees now.

The new technologies that we’ve seen come into this industry have been
fascinating! “Back in the BBS days” we were giddy with modem speeds of
14,400 and then 28.800. When 56k speeds came along we embraced X2 (from
US Robotics). This soon progressed into V.90 (purportedly a standard).
Broadband (Real fast connections) is available in many areas now and
this includes DSL, cable modems and possibly a couple of other
technologies. It’s going to be very exciting. Since I’m knee deep in
Internet, it was easy to keep up on the latest trends and I hope to
continue to educate myself on my own in these areas.

ExecPC had been approached to sell before. Mindspring (a national and
up-and-coming ISP) made a poor offer and Bob turned them down. After
that, the Journal-Sentinel tried to buy us, and it got right down to the
wire but fell through.

Ironically, I was the one who made the Voyager-ExecPC connection. In
late 1997, I spoke with Verio about the possibility of our two companies
merging or something to that nature. They put me in contact with a
company broker. When the Verio deal fell through, the broker decided to
pursue this on his own. I went to ISPCon in Baltimore in March of 1998
and had a meeting with several of the principles of Voyager. It
certainly appeared to be a good fit and Bob ran with it.

When the acquisition happened, it was decided to refer to the deal as a
“merger” instead of an acquisition. I feel that, although the word
merger sounds a bit less threatening than acquisition, this decision was
not well thought out. Especially disconcerting was the press release on
Voyager’s home page calling it an acquisition when ExecPC’s home page
referred to it as a merger. I have to say that although I did go along
with this decision, I wasn’t in agreement with it.

I’ve spent six years of my life working at or running ExecPC and have no
regrets about that time. I’ve had so much fun and received so much
experience (both business and life) that I would be foolish to view that
time as anything other than time well spent.

The team at ExecPC-WI is the finest of its kind and I will miss the
day-to-day operations, the candy runs, the bar-b-ques and the “Thank God
the October/March Promotion Is Over” parties. Thinking up new and cool
ways of rewarding and keeping employees took up a good amount of my time
but I think it came back 100 fold in employee appreciation and morale.
I’ve lost count on the number of people who have told me how much they
love the little things and that’s why they’ve stayed on.

We helped take the Midwest into the next era of technology and
communications. This is an incredible legacy even if it appears that
we’re just running an Internet company. ExecPC was, and hopefully is, a
wonderful place to share ideas, watch technology evolve and just
interact with some of the brightest people I’ve ever had the privilege
of knowing. I don’t regret a minute.

I wish you all well and hope our paths can continue to cross.

Kindest regards
Greg Ryan
Ex-President, ExecPC-WI

Pamela Lewis

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Feb 10, 1999, 3:00:00 AM2/10/99
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Greg:

I am truly sorry that you were let go from your job. When any merger or
acquisition happened, sweeping changes will occur. It was matter of time.

Thanks for providing a history on how ExecPc came to be a successful player
in Wisconsin and ultimately other places outside of the state. I've been
with ExecPc for a year and enjoyed the execpc service during your
leadership. I liked the fact that ExecPc originated in metro Milwaukee and
remained in Wisconsin. The skills that you have acquired will take you to a
higher place than Voyager. I wish you well in your future endeavors.

Greg Ryan wrote:

--
Pamela Lewis
Designs Around You, Inc. (http://www.designsaroundyou.com)
21st century desktop publishing, internet marketing and multimedia
design services to meet the needs of tomorrow's businesses!

Chris Galewski

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Feb 10, 1999, 3:00:00 AM2/10/99
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WOW!! What a surprise. He would have been the last person I would have
expected to see be terminated by Voyager. I was more or less expecting
others to be let go first.

Greg was a unique person. I think a lot of people at ExecPC would say that
Greg, Like Bob, was also an excellent boss. He did a lot for ExecPC and
this is what he gets for doing things like this.

Good Luck Greg.

cg

Greg Ryan wrote in message <79sask$k...@newsops.execpc.com>...

Eric St. Antoine

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Feb 10, 1999, 3:00:00 AM2/10/99
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It is very unfortunate what the outcome of this merger has done to the
person who put it all together. I have nothing but respect for someone
who can put that much time and effort into something for years and then
bow out gracefully after getting knocked off the ladder. Very well worded
Greg. Best of luck to you in the future.

EJS

Sally Marianyi

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Feb 10, 1999, 3:00:00 AM2/10/99
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I just want to tell you that I think it sucks what they did to you.
Although I don't know you personally, I've heard a lot about you from
my life-long friend Lori Martin (Who, by the way, was NOTICEABLY
absent from your list of original employees.) and she always spoke
very highly of you. I hope that you will find a great job soon with a
company that will appreciate you.
For anyone that's interested, there is a great article about this at:
http://www.jsonline.com/business/news/990210voyagerinformationser.asp

Alan Carr

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Feb 10, 1999, 3:00:00 AM2/10/99
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You'll be missed, Greg.

I've enjoyed our relationship, starting when I ran my OWN small BBS on a
nice, inexpensive bbs program called RYBBS (written by one Greg Ryan, as I
recall) ...wow, does THAT go back! One of the reasons I chose RYBBS was
having the author just a short distance from me, so I could call him if I
had a problem.

It was especially nice for me when you went to ExecPC. Having a personal
acquaintance with one of the honchos wa a nice feeling, and you were a big
help to me on more than one occasion! If I never thanked you properly
before, I'd like to do so now!

Now the big concerns: with YOU leaving (unfairly, I might add), how many
MORE local people will Voyager consider no longer necessary? It would seem
our concerns about ExecPC being acquired by an out-of-state company have
been justified. Needless to say, your departure (firing, whatever you/they
want to call it) have given me pause. If ExecPC is going to become just
another faceless corporation, I no longer have any feelings of local loyalty
as I have for so long.

Guess it's time to start shopping around again for another ISDN
provider...maybe Ameritech?? Who knows?

Goodbye Mr. Ryan! You'll be missed.

--
*****************************************
Alan Carr
Any opinions stated here are mine
and are not intended to reflect on
my ISPs, employers or anyone else.
*****************************************

Greg Ryan <gr...@execpc.com> wrote in message
news:79sask$k...@newsops.execpc.com...


>Monday, Feb. 8th was my last day at ExecPC.

<<SNIP>>>

John

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Feb 10, 1999, 3:00:00 AM2/10/99
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Greg,

I wish you the best of luck. It is a sad commentary when a company kills
the "goose that laid the golden egg". I suspect, with their judgement,
they will be laying alot of eggs in the future.

John

Bob Colon

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Feb 10, 1999, 3:00:00 AM2/10/99
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I was suprised by the news, and was one of the last to hear about it.
But that aside.. Sadly, I never got the chance to work with Greg
much, but one event stood out in my mind. I started at ExecPC only a
few weeks ago. I was still traning, sitting in on calls with another
tech, when Greg came around, giving out candy to everyone. It is a
small gesture, but it really said alot to me about the style of
management. I was very impressed at the feeling throught the entire
company, and I think alot of that credit goes to Greg. His style of
running the company is reflected by those under him. I frequently saw
him in the halls, always with a smile and friendlyt greeting. Most
places you work at, you rarely if ever see the president of the
company.

As for what the future will hold for ExecPC/Voyager? I dont know yet.
I will remian optimistic, I dont think its all gloom and doom as this
sounds. We as a company have meet with the new owners, and they share
a similar vision. And seeing things as only IMPROVING. Just to rest
anyones fears. we will NOT be turning into the next AOL :)

Good luck Greg, you will be missed.


--Bob Colon
ExecPC Technical Suppot

Ron Hall

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Feb 10, 1999, 3:00:00 AM2/10/99
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On Wed, 10 Feb 1999, Alan Carr wrote:

> You'll be missed, Greg.
>
> I've enjoyed our relationship, starting when I ran my OWN small BBS on a
> nice, inexpensive bbs program called RYBBS (written by one Greg Ryan, as I
> recall) ...wow, does THAT go back! One of the reasons I chose RYBBS was
> having the author just a short distance from me, so I could call him if I
> had a problem.
>
> It was especially nice for me when you went to ExecPC. Having a personal
> acquaintance with one of the honchos wa a nice feeling, and you were a big
> help to me on more than one occasion! If I never thanked you properly
> before, I'd like to do so now!
>
> Now the big concerns: with YOU leaving (unfairly, I might add), how many
> MORE local people will Voyager consider no longer necessary? It would seem
> our concerns about ExecPC being acquired by an out-of-state company have
> been justified. Needless to say, your departure (firing, whatever you/they
> want to call it) have given me pause. If ExecPC is going to become just
> another faceless corporation, I no longer have any feelings of local loyalty
> as I have for so long.
>
> Guess it's time to start shopping around again for another ISDN
> provider...maybe Ameritech?? Who knows?
>

Let me first of all ask you Alan, what your "expertise" is on Greg Ryan's
position with ExecPC was? You so boldly say "unfairly, I might add"
without any knowledge of the circumstances or reasoning behind it. Then
you go on to speculate that this means you are going to leave ExecPC for
Ameritech.

Okay, that makes a lot of sense, lets take a totally unjustified, and
purely speculative statement, and make a conclusion which is profoundly
absurd. You will leave ExecPC, for a company which is 100x the size of
ExecPC, because you feel like you have lost the feeling of local loyalty.
Okay, that makes a lot of sense. Since we are purely speculating here,
think about this for example. What if Greg Ryan's position among
management was that ExecPC employees should get 50% of the raises that
ExecPC-MI was going to give. What if Greg did not agree that keeping a
user/modem ration of 9:1 was the appropriate amount, and preferred 12:1 to
help cost saving. What if Greg was suggesting we put off a major mail
system upgrade for 6 months and allow users to have slow mail access in
the meantime to save costs. Since you are wildly speculating, what if
that was Greg's position? Would you then defend Greg's firing? Until you
know the reasoning behind it (And you don't), I don't think you can make a
statement like you did and be even be remotely credible.

Now, again, let me point this out for the record because I think it gives
me credibility. I am a former employee of ExecPC, up to about 2-3 weeks
ago. While I don't know the reasoning behind Greg's firing for certain, I
think I can "speculate" a lot better than non-employees can. I worked for
ExecPC for 2.5 years, and during that time I saw ExecPC grow from a very
small company, to a relatively large company. I think it has become clear
that in an industry as competitive as the ISP industry, its becoming
NECESSARY for ISP's to merge in order to stay competitive and profitable.
While you highly idealistic goal of "local loyalty" may sound good, it
certainly not realistic.

After Bob Mahoney had sold the company, he admitted to us that he had
'lost the fire' for running a company like ExecPC. In my opinion, he was
simply burned out, and lacked the vision necessary to guide ExecPC to the
next level. Bob Mahoney poured his heart and soul into ExecPC for WAY to
many years with nothing to show for it. When ExecPC finally became what
it is today, he just did not enough left in him to push it to a nationwide
multi-hundred million dollar company. Can you blame him? He worked out
of his basement for next to nothing for a decade, probably draining the
quality of life he and his wife could have had if he would have chosen to
simply work for a company during this time. After ExecPC became more
successful than I think he could have ever dreamed of, I think he knew it
was time for him to step aside and allow someone else with proven vision
and integrity run the company. Bob chose Voyager, and I KNOW that he had
better offers from other companies like Mindspring. Bob could have sold
out to the highest bidder, and ExecPC would have NO local offices or
employees. However, Bob chose to do his research and hand ExecPC off to a
company with similar vision and leadership.

Throughout many of the lean years, Greg was by Bob's side helping make
ExecPC the company that it is today. Greg was a very nice person, whom I
enjoyed working with during my time at ExecPC. What Greg was not however,
was a corporate CEO with experience running a company of the size of
ExecPC. I don't know a lot about the background of Greg Ryan, but as you
noted he was a programmer, and I think he mentioned he worked for an
electronics firm. Whether he could have done it or not, I don't know.
People can often do extraordinary things that nobody thought they can do.
But think of it this way, if you had a choice of Greg Ryan running the
company, or someone who has proven capabilities running a company the size
of ExecPC, who would you choose? Lets say you had $50 million to invest in
ExecPC, would you want Greg Ryan or the former head of AT&T who had a
proven track record of making a company profitable and providing great
service?

I know for a fact Greg Ryan was not involved with all the day to day
operations of any specific department at ExecPC. Greg was the President,
he did not have time to make the critical decisions like which router to
use, or what modem code to upgrade to, or which telco to get our phone
service from. He relied on his people below him to provide him with that
information, and make recommendations. Those people are still at ExecPC.
The Curt Shambeau's, Michael Middlestadt's, (And all the other staff, I
don't want to list all of your names). If THOSE people start getting
fired, then I would be concerned, as they are some of the most talented
people in the industry. However, I feel the job of being a good President
is taking the information that the experts you employ give you, and making
decisions based on that information that are in best interest of the
company as a whole (Not just bottom line). If the people above Greg
though that he was not making the right decisions, then its the absolute
right thing to remove him. I was never involved in the decisions that
Greg made, so I can't comment if it was unfair or not that he was fired.

We will probably never know. What I DO know however is that the people
running Voyager are not simply out to make money, and that they hold many
of the same ideas that Bob and Greg had concerning customer service and a
local "loyalty". What we NEED to do, is give the new President a chance.
Demand nothing less of ExecPC, but demand that whomever is in charge
provide you with the level of service you want. Everyone is quick to
shout "SEE! I TOLD YOU SO! EXECPC IS BECOMING AOL!". Well, until you have
concrete evidence of that, OTHER than firing of 1 employee, I think you
should wait and see. I am a customer of ExecPC now too, if I don't get
the service I feel I should, I will be the first to leave with the rest of
you. Make it clear to the new management that you demand the same level
of service you have always gotten, I think you may be surprised that you
will not only get that, but more. I encourage the new President of ExecPC
(or whomever took over that role(s)) to take ExecPC to the absolute top of
customer service and value in the ISP industry. Until I see things
happening otherwise, ExecPC will continue to have my complete support and
confidence. Good luck to all of the ExecPC employees, I hope this works
out well for all of you, and us, the customer.

If Greg or anyone else involved with this matter would like to correct me
on anything I have speculated on here, feel free. The above is only my
opinion, which I believe is based on reality.


Greg Ryan

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Feb 10, 1999, 3:00:00 AM2/10/99
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>
> and integrity run the company. Bob chose Voyager, and I KNOW that he had
> better offers from other companies like Mindspring. Bob could have sold
> out to the highest bidder, and ExecPC would have NO local offices or
> employees. However, Bob chose to do his research and hand ExecPC off to a
> company with similar vision and leadership.
>

Mindspring came in with a VERY low quote, Ron. Although you seem to think that I
wasn't involved in many of there areas, that is one area of which I was aware.
Although there were a few other companies who made a "bid" for Exec, Voyager was,
in Bob's opinion (or what i'm pretty sure was Bob's opinion), the best fit, both
financially and culture-wise. The other bids were in the same general financial
arena.

>
> Throughout many of the lean years, Greg was by Bob's side helping make
> ExecPC the company that it is today. Greg was a very nice person, whom I
> enjoyed working with during my time at ExecPC. What Greg was not however,

Actually, I ran much of the company's day to day operations...Bob trusted me to do
so and often took a back seat in the upper management. I was happy to do this
and, I believe, he was happy to let me.

> of ExecPC, who would you choose? Lets say you had $50 million to invest in
> ExecPC, would you want Greg Ryan or the former head of AT&T who had a
> proven track record of making a company profitable and providing great
> service?
>

Who says I was going to run the new company. I was in charge of WI, not the
entire company.


>
> local "loyalty". What we NEED to do, is give the new President a chance.

all well and good, but there is NO new president. I was not fired to be replaced
by a new president. The restructuring of the company supposedly did away with
both presidents (of WI and of MI) and replaced them with the COO and the newly
integrated departments reporting to persons other than the president.

> If Greg or anyone else involved with this matter would like to correct me
> on anything I have speculated on here, feel free. The above is only my
> opinion, which I believe is based on reality.

Done. Realign your reality, please.

Greg


Greg Ryan

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Feb 11, 1999, 3:00:00 AM2/11/99
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>
> >ExecPC had been approached to sell before. Mindspring (a national and
> >up-and-coming ISP) made a poor offer and Bob turned them down. After
> >that, the Journal-Sentinel tried to buy us, and it got right down to the
> >wire but fell through.
>
> Mindspring is better than an up-and-coming ISP, and they don't have
> near the connection problems I've had with ExecPC. Although, I

Agreed. What I should have said was "a then up and coming ISP". That was
about 2 years ago and they were still just a medium to large entitiy. They're
certainly large by anyone's standards (last i heard closing in on 1,000,000
customers) and significantly larger than ExecPC.

Greg


Maruszewski

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Feb 11, 1999, 3:00:00 AM2/11/99
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Well, just my 2 cents...
I've been a subscriber a good many years, first
the BBS, (where I'm staying til they turn out the lights),
then an I-Net text connection...now the whole nine yards.
Throughout, the service has been efficient and
professional. The customer service and troubleshooting
are beyond par.
A lot of this has been due to Greg Ryan. It seems
to me that Bob Mahoney set the original tone and Greg Ryan
grew it from there.
So a big thank you for a job well done.
Mary

Paul Erickson

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Feb 11, 1999, 3:00:00 AM2/11/99
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It was fascinating reading your mini-history of execPc. One thing you
said really stood out with me. It was this statement:

>I致e spent six years of my life working at or running ExecPC and have no

All that happened in only six years! Amazing!

Good luck, Greg.

Paul Erickson
Green Bay

Alan Carr

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Feb 11, 1999, 3:00:00 AM2/11/99
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Thanks for confirming much of what I thought, Greg.

Just to clear up my last post, I have no plans to dump ExecPC as of now. I
*will* however be watching performance, customer service and staff
retention. If, as I suspect will happen, these things go in the dumper, I'm
gone. Voyager has started down a slippery slope with your firing (after all,
why would you get rid of some with such a positive history with your
customers?), and they will be hard pressed to regain their footing.

And, as far as the comment of why switch to Ameritech, since they are 100x
the size of ExecpPC? Well, besides the fact that, to me, the way Voyager
appears to be running things makes them no better than Ameritech, but I've
been an ISDN customer of ameritech.net before. I got marginally better speed
with them, and much less problems with bonding the b-channels. I switched
back to ExecPC for a number of reasons, the most important of which was the
local nature of management and customer service. If those things suffer,
Voyager loses my money.

I hope I'm not alone in this!

--
*****************************************
Alan Carr
Any opinions stated here are mine
and are not intended to reflect on
my ISPs, employers or anyone else.
*****************************************

Greg Ryan <gr...@execpc.com> wrote in message

news:79tr7h$9...@newsops.execpc.com...


>>
>> and integrity run the company. Bob chose Voyager, and I KNOW that he had
>> better offers from other companies like Mindspring. Bob could have sold
>> out to the highest bidder, and ExecPC would have NO local offices or
>> employees. However, Bob chose to do his research and hand ExecPC off to
a
>> company with similar vision and leadership.
>>
>

>Mindspring came in with a VERY low quote, Ron. Although you seem to think
that I
>wasn't involved in many of there areas, that is one area of which I was
aware.
>Although there were a few other companies who made a "bid" for Exec,
Voyager was,
>in Bob's opinion (or what i'm pretty sure was Bob's opinion), the best fit,
both
>financially and culture-wise. The other bids were in the same general
financial
>arena.
>
>>

>> Throughout many of the lean years, Greg was by Bob's side helping make
>> ExecPC the company that it is today. Greg was a very nice person, whom I
>> enjoyed working with during my time at ExecPC. What Greg was not
however,
>

>Actually, I ran much of the company's day to day operations...Bob trusted
me to do
>so and often took a back seat in the upper management. I was happy to do
this
>and, I believe, he was happy to let me.
>

>> of ExecPC, who would you choose? Lets say you had $50 million to invest
in
>> ExecPC, would you want Greg Ryan or the former head of AT&T who had a
>> proven track record of making a company profitable and providing great
>> service?
>>
>

>Who says I was going to run the new company. I was in charge of WI, not
the
>entire company.
>
>
>>

>> local "loyalty". What we NEED to do, is give the new President a chance.
>

>all well and good, but there is NO new president. I was not fired to be
replaced
>by a new president. The restructuring of the company supposedly did away
with
>both presidents (of WI and of MI) and replaced them with the COO and the
newly
>integrated departments reporting to persons other than the president.
>

>> If Greg or anyone else involved with this matter would like to correct
me
>> on anything I have speculated on here, feel free. The above is only my
>> opinion, which I believe is based on reality.
>

Tom Kustner

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Feb 11, 1999, 3:00:00 AM2/11/99
to
>
>Agreed. What I should have said was "a then up and coming ISP". That was
>about 2 years ago and they were still just a medium to large entitiy. They're
>certainly large by anyone's standards (last i heard closing in on 1,000,000
>customers) and significantly larger than ExecPC.

It must be noted that the price of their stock took off in the last
two years. Who could have known?

cu...@execpc.com

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Feb 11, 1999, 3:00:00 AM2/11/99
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For those worried about losing the management style of the ExecPC crew,
I want to assure you all that will not happen. Greg was an awsome part
of our ExecPC team, and he really knew how to treat employee's (trained
in this field, in part by Bob Mahoney - the best boss anyone could ever
hope to have). However, the management that is still here is actually
being put in charge of much of the entire midwest organization. This is
all part of the reorganization that has been talked about.

Myself (telco, purchasing), network, tech support, web design, customer service,
new product development (DSL, etc) are all going to be managed by people from our
WI office for the entire midwest region, while the corporate heads will all
be in MI (CEO, CFO, CTO, COO).

--------------------------------------------------------------------------
Curtis V. Shambeau | cu...@execpc.com | http://www.execpc.com/~curt
Senior Vice President, ExecPC, Inc.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------

Jason Goodlad

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Feb 11, 1999, 3:00:00 AM2/11/99
to
You're not alone.. I feel the same way. Voyager made their first
questionable move by firing Ryan, but it's not enough to make me want to
bolt out the door just yet. I will be watching for any slipups, and if
I feel that Exec-PC/Voyager isn't providing the same level of service
I've had in the past, then it's time to go find a new provider.

I *KNOW* there's at least 3 other people who feel exactly the same way I
do. If that Journal article was any indication, then things may be
getting worse. (Bottom line, bottom line: AOL?! ugh.. haven't you
heard? AOL has the highest chrun rate of any provider in the *WORLD*,
their service is crappy and slow, they're riddled with spammers, newbies
who don't know the difference between the left & right mouse buttons,
busy signals up the wazoo... need I go on?)

When *I* no longer feel happy, when I feel like I'm just being treated
like a faceless number who no one listens to, then I'm gone. simple as
that.

All we can do at this point is wait & see. I hope my gut feeling is
wrong.

--

-Dark Wind-
-MUSKETEERS-- ____________________________________________
| / | \ | | http://doomguy.nws.net/ |
| |---|---| | | This space intentionally left blank |
| \_ | _/ | | This space also intentionally left blank |
| | | | | http://www.execpc.com/~darkwind/quake/ |
| \_/ | --------------------------------------------
----CLAN----- Irc.Undernet.org #Clan_Musketeers

Alan Carr wrote:
>
> Thanks for confirming much of what I thought, Greg.
>
> Just to clear up my last post, I have no plans to dump ExecPC as of now. I
> *will* however be watching performance, customer service and staff
> retention. If, as I suspect will happen, these things go in the dumper, I'm
> gone. Voyager has started down a slippery slope with your firing (after all,
> why would you get rid of some with such a positive history with your
> customers?), and they will be hard pressed to regain their footing.

>

Alan Carr

unread,
Feb 11, 1999, 3:00:00 AM2/11/99
to
Well, Curt, if that's how it all plays out in the end, I'd say that Voyager
ends up being the true beneficiary of the acquisition. After about 8 years
with ExecPC (bbs and ISP), and having tried a number of other local and
national ISPs, you have the best run operation I have been with. Voyager
will gain a lot if they are run as you have been all these years.

I just hope the corporate suits in Michigan are paying attention! I'm sure
they are aware that for each person who publically comments there are many
,many more who are silent, yet feel the same way. I suspect they will see a
sustantial dip in their WI/IL subscriber base if they muck around with a
good thing. If ExecPC become a faceless coorporate operation, I'll jump ship
to ameritech.net so fast, I'll leave skidmarks!!! After all, one corporation
is the same as another, in that case, and ameritech DOES have perks that
make the extra $10/m they charge worth it to me.

Are you listening, Voyager-suits??????

--
*****************************************
Alan Carr
Any opinions stated here are mine
and are not intended to reflect on
my ISPs, employers or anyone else.
*****************************************

<cu...@execpc.com> wrote in message news:79vcmt$r...@newsops.execpc.com...

Robert Koch

unread,
Feb 11, 1999, 3:00:00 AM2/11/99
to
Everyone seems to think that just because Voyager aquired/bought/merged with
ExecPC, that they are just some big corporation who like many other
corporations don't truely care about their customers. Has *anyone* stopped
to consider that Voyager might be run by people like Bob and Greg? I somehow
doubt it, since everyone is too busy predicting the destruction of the
ExecPC we all know.

Rob


Alan Carr <alan...@uwm.edu> wrote in message
news:79vi8e$1ej$1...@usenet44.supernews.com...

Michael Hart

unread,
Feb 11, 1999, 3:00:00 AM2/11/99
to

John 'Hemo' Hiemenz wrote in message <79tlsd$q...@newsops.execpc.com>...

>>Mindspring is better than an up-and-coming ISP, and they don't have
>near the connection problems I've had with ExecPC. Although, I
>honestly tend to believe 98% of the connection problems to ExecPC are
>the fault of poor trunks to ExecPC's lines from Ameritech, and not any
>equipment at ExecPC themselves. I've already notified ExecPC I won't
>be renewing my annual subscription. I've used Mindspring and ExecPC
>side by side for a full year and 2/3 of the time I get better
>connections and throughput via Mindspring. (both at work in Whitefish
>Bay and at home in Pewaukee)


thanks for sharing that. Mindspring will be on my list (btw Curt, I still
get the solid tone thing here periodically.)

It would seem obvious that if anything is important in this apparent
transition it will be customer service and no-fault hardware. If that is
still the primary goal at exec/voyageur they should be safe...

But to tell you the truth it's hard to be loyal to any company that simply
fires anyone in a seemingly endless market. For now I'm putting my high
regards (and recommendation to others) for Execpc on hold. If other ISP's
step in and suck up share they will be doing it with GROWTH not cost cutting
or reorganization in mind.

Now done with that is Greg bound by any non-compete's from the sale?
Probably wouldn't be too hard to start again would it?


Ron Hall

unread,
Feb 11, 1999, 3:00:00 AM2/11/99
to
On Wed, 10 Feb 1999, Greg Ryan wrote:
> >
> > and integrity run the company. Bob chose Voyager, and I KNOW that he had
> > better offers from other companies like Mindspring. Bob could have sold
> > out to the highest bidder, and ExecPC would have NO local offices or
> > employees. However, Bob chose to do his research and hand ExecPC off to a
> > company with similar vision and leadership.
> >
>
> Mindspring came in with a VERY low quote, Ron. Although you seem to think that I
> wasn't involved in many of there areas, that is one area of which I was aware.
> Although there were a few other companies who made a "bid" for Exec, Voyager was,
> in Bob's opinion (or what i'm pretty sure was Bob's opinion), the best fit, both
> financially and culture-wise. The other bids were in the same general financial
> arena.
>

Okay, they came in with a low quote. But Bob also mentioned that their
offer included a stock swap. Lets compare Mindspring's stock price then,
and what its worth now, and tell me it was a "low quote". Bob made it
quite clear he lost a lot of money by not accepting the Mindspring deal
when their stock shot through the roof.

> >
> > Throughout many of the lean years, Greg was by Bob's side helping make
> > ExecPC the company that it is today. Greg was a very nice person, whom I
> > enjoyed working with during my time at ExecPC. What Greg was not however,
>

> Actually, I ran much of the company's day to day operations...Bob trusted me to do
> so and often took a back seat in the upper management. I was happy to do this
> and, I believe, he was happy to let me.
>

To be completely honest, I often felt you were "out of the loop" when it
came to us normal employees. Can you honestly say you knew the number of
calls any department took in a particular day. Did you know how many
email messages we sent out in a day? Did you know when we were having an
Ameritech problem and we being hammered on the phones because of some sort
of outage? Do you have any sort of idea what kind of pressure the phone
Techs (And I speak from the Technical Support angle because thats where I
was) are dealing with on a daily basis? I really don't think you did.
The pressures of working in a modern ISP are incredible, and I really
don't think you have any idea the type of crap that we put up with to keep
things running and customers happy.

Everyone is so quick to mention your name when they discuss how ExecPC
became a success. What about the people who were actually on the phones
with the customers? What about the people who are forced to take
literally non-stop calls from angry customers for 8 hours a day? Everyone
seems to forget those people when it comes to moments like this. Lets not
get to selfish here, there were more people who made ExecPC what it is
today than just you and Bob. Your leadership obviously helped, but lets
think of EVERYONE involved here not just the top people.

> > of ExecPC, who would you choose? Lets say you had $50 million to invest in
> > ExecPC, would you want Greg Ryan or the former head of AT&T who had a
> > proven track record of making a company profitable and providing great
> > service?
> >
>

> Who says I was going to run the new company. I was in charge of WI, not the
> entire company.
>
>
> >

> > local "loyalty". What we NEED to do, is give the new President a chance.
>

> all well and good, but there is NO new president. I was not fired to be replaced
> by a new president. The restructuring of the company supposedly did away with
> both presidents (of WI and of MI) and replaced them with the COO and the newly
> integrated departments reporting to persons other than the president.
>

Okay, then let me rephrase this. What we need to do is give the new
"structure" a chance. Change in and of itself is not a bad thing. Was it
a bad thing when Bob decided to turn over the majority control of ExecPC
over to you? It seemed to work out pretty well as far as I can tell.
Well the new management thinks your position may not be needed, and
decided to eliminate it. Do you obviously believe that when Bob discussed
the sale of the company with you that the loss of your job was not a
possibility? Top management of companies which are bought or merged with
one another usually do not survive.

> > If Greg or anyone else involved with this matter would like to correct me
> > on anything I have speculated on here, feel free. The above is only my
> > opinion, which I believe is based on reality.
>

> Done. Realign your reality, please.
>
> Greg
>

I think the problem may be is that we were never kept informed as
employees as to what was going on. One of the philosophies of the new
company that I enjoyed while I was there was that we could ask what was
going on and get straight answers. I have to admit that under the "old"
management, ExecPC never told its normal employees anything. I think one
of the new ideas that Voyager brought in was a more honest management, one
that kept us "normal" employees informed, at least better than we had
been.

At the risk of turning this into a flame war, I really think there is some
level of resentment (is that spelled correctly?) here that is pushing you.
It didn't turn out as you had planned, and I think you may be a little
bitter at the new management for not agreeing with your vision. Right or
wrong, its their company, and its their decision to turn the company in
the direction they feel is right. The people running Voyager had a very
similar track record of ExecPC, they turned a very small ISP into a large
successful one. I think they are qualified to make decisions on their
management.

If you feel you were wronged in some way, start your own ISP, put your own
money into it, and try to convince the people you trust to start it with
you. You are obviously an intelligent person, if you feel you can do it
better, and quite possibly you could, then go for it. You obviously have
experience, you have done it once, do it again. I think attacking ExecPC
only makes you look bad, you should go out gracefully and prove to Voyager
that getting rid of you was a mistake. Go to another ISP, compete against
ExecPC, start your own business in something else. I personally feel the
best way to "get back" at someone is to show them why their decision was
wrong, and not to simply badmouth them for making it.

Again, simply my opinion...

Ronald Hall
cri...@execpc.com


Jerry Behrendt

unread,
Feb 12, 1999, 3:00:00 AM2/12/99
to

Ron Hall wrote:
>
> To be completely honest, I often felt you were "out of the loop" when it
> came to us normal employees. Can you honestly say you knew the number of
> calls any department took in a particular day. Did you know how many
> email messages we sent out in a day? Did you know when we were having an
> Ameritech problem and we being hammered on the phones because of some sort
> of outage? Do you have any sort of idea what kind of pressure the phone
> Techs (And I speak from the Technical Support angle because thats where I
> was) are dealing with on a daily basis? I really don't think you did.
> The pressures of working in a modern ISP are incredible, and I really
> don't think you have any idea the type of crap that we put up with to keep
> things running and customers happy.

Quite frankly, it wasn't his job to know how many calls we were taking
or how many helpdesk messages were coming in. That's why there are
managers, supervisors, etc. It's called "delegation." I didn't know
Greg real well myself, but it sure seemed like he was very aware of the
pressures on his employees. Compared to ANY other place I've worked at,
Exec has always gone well out of its way to provide as many perks as
possible, which I feel was largely due to Greg's direction (along with
other folks, of course).

> I think the problem may be is that we were never kept informed as
> employees as to what was going on. One of the philosophies of the new
> company that I enjoyed while I was there was that we could ask what was
> going on and get straight answers. I have to admit that under the "old"
> management, ExecPC never told its normal employees anything. I think one
> of the new ideas that Voyager brought in was a more honest management, one
> that kept us "normal" employees informed, at least better than we had
> been.

If you really believe this, I have some swampland in Florida for sale.
As a current employee of ExecPC, I feel like I have increasingly less
job security as time goes by. I no longer have any idea what's going to
change next. (what ever happened to "nobody is going to lose their
jobs"?)



> If you feel you were wronged in some way, start your own ISP, put your own
> money into it, and try to convince the people you trust to start it with
> you. You are obviously an intelligent person, if you feel you can do it
> better, and quite possibly you could, then go for it. You obviously have
> experience, you have done it once, do it again. I think attacking ExecPC
> only makes you look bad, you should go out gracefully and prove to Voyager
> that getting rid of you was a mistake. Go to another ISP, compete against
> ExecPC, start your own business in something else. I personally feel the
> best way to "get back" at someone is to show them why their decision was
> wrong, and not to simply badmouth them for making it.

I've seen no badmouthing of any kind here. What on earth are you
talking about? Greg replied to you with a few minor corrections of fact
and you somehow managed to read all sorts of things into it. I *am*
sensing some bitterness in this group, however none of it is coming from
Greg.

--
Jerry Behrendt
jer...@execpc.com

Turns out there are three reasons to walk a mile in the shoes of someone
with whom you disagree. First, you may better understand that person's
point of view and thereby increase the likelihood of compromise. Second,
after you've walked a mile in someone's shoes, you end up a mile away
from the jerk. And third, you have that person's shoes.

Greg Ryan

unread,
Feb 12, 1999, 3:00:00 AM2/12/99
to

>
> > Mindspring came in with a VERY low quote, Ron. Although you seem to think that I
> > wasn't involved in many of there areas, that is one area of which I was aware.
> >
>

> Okay, they came in with a low quote. But Bob also mentioned that their
> offer included a stock swap. Lets compare Mindspring's stock price then,
> and what its worth now, and tell me it was a "low quote". Bob made it
> quite clear he lost a lot of money by not accepting the Mindspring deal
> when their stock shot through the roof.
>

Agreed...but at the time it was a low bid. Now, NOT to say that MindSpring would have
been a better choice than Voyager. In my opinion, it would NOT have. They
(Mindspring), I believe, would have closed down the WI operation. Hindsight is 20/20.

>
> > Actually, I ran much of the company's day to day operations...Bob trusted me to do
> > so and often took a back seat in the upper management. I was happy to do this
> > and, I believe, he was happy to let me.
> >
>
> To be completely honest, I often felt you were "out of the loop" when it
> came to us normal employees. Can you honestly say you knew the number of
> calls any department took in a particular day. Did you know how many
> email messages we sent out in a day? Did you know when we were having an
> Ameritech problem and we being hammered on the phones because of some sort
> of outage? Do you have any sort of idea what kind of pressure the phone

I was generally aware of system problems and queried the managers frequently about
overall call/email volumns and employee stress levels. Did it appear odd to you when I
came around with the candy bag during many of those hard days? Cooincidence?

> get to selfish here, there were more people who made ExecPC what it is
> today than just you and Bob. Your leadership obviously helped, but lets
> think of EVERYONE involved here not just the top people.
>

Although the media often assumed that I was the "main" guy, I was very careful about
giving credit to the team. Ouch, now, I'm getting defensive.

> >
> > >
> > > local "loyalty". What we NEED to do, is give the new President a chance.
> >
> > all well and good, but there is NO new president. I was not fired to be replaced
> > by a new president. The restructuring of the company supposedly did away with
> > both presidents (of WI and of MI) and replaced them with the COO and the newly
> > integrated departments reporting to persons other than the president.
> >
>
> Okay, then let me rephrase this. What we need to do is give the new
> "structure" a chance. Change in and of itself is not a bad thing. Was it

That, I'll agree with. I never said that ExecPC was going to hell in a handbasket; I
was correcting your mistakes. I wish ExecPC well... I still have a hell of a lot of
people over there that I know and love. In addition, although I may be personally
disposed against the people who terminated me, I believe that the team over at ExecPC is
the best in the midwest and quite probably the world. The loss of one guy isn't going
to run them into the ground.

>
> I think the problem may be is that we were never kept informed as
> employees as to what was going on. One of the philosophies of the new
> company that I enjoyed while I was there was that we could ask what was
> going on and get straight answers. I have to admit that under the "old"

Boy, I should have sat in your cubicle so I could have had access to the news.

>
> management, ExecPC never told its normal employees anything. I think one
> of the new ideas that Voyager brought in was a more honest management, one
> that kept us "normal" employees informed, at least better than we had
> been.
>

Just where have you been since Sept.? Are you absolutely positive that you worked at
ExecPC-WI during those months?

Perhaps this was the ExecPC-OZ division?

> the direction they feel is right. The people running Voyager had a very

> similar track record of ExecPC, they turned a very small ISP into a large
> successful one. I think they are qualified to make decisions on their
> management.

They are certainly entitled to do it; they paid for that priviledge...qualified remains
to be seen. At the time of Acquisition, Voyager had about 20-25k customers. Relative
to ExecPC that wasn't large (however it's certainly not bad).

> ExecPC, start your own business in something else. I personally feel the
> best way to "get back" at someone is to show them why their decision was
> wrong, and not to simply badmouth them for making it.

Although I'm not 100% happy about their decision, I've tried (and I think succeeded) to
NOT badmouth them very much. I didn't see the decision changing and I'm not one to
throw things so my last day(s) were actually pretty happy. I LOVED that job and will
never regret the time I spent there!

Again, I've said it before. My record speaks for itself. The team didn't always,
perhaps, agree with my decisions, but they generally knew where I stood and I always
backed up the managers when they made a decision on their own (good or bad). (as an
aside, the best decisions are the bad ones...those are the ones where you learn to
become a good manager).

I'm happy to stop this flaming here.

Greg


Alan Carr

unread,
Feb 12, 1999, 3:00:00 AM2/12/99
to
Yer bsolutely right. that COULD be the case, and I sure hope it is! My only
point is that I and others will be watching very carefully to see if that's
the case, and will make our decisions based on what we see. I fully intend
to be fair, but won't accept anything less than we have enjoyed with ExecPC
before the takeover.

-
*****************************************
Alan Carr
Any opinions stated here are mine
and are not intended to reflect on
my ISPs, employers or anyone else.
*****************************************

Robert Koch <nem...@execpc.com> wrote in message
news:79vv1l$5...@newsops.execpc.com...

Scott Jentsch

unread,
Feb 12, 1999, 3:00:00 AM2/12/99
to
Alan Carr wrote:

> I just hope the corporate suits in Michigan are paying attention! I'm sure
> they are aware that for each person who publically comments there are many
> ,many more who are silent, yet feel the same way. I suspect they will see a
> sustantial dip in their WI/IL subscriber base if they muck around with a
> good thing. If ExecPC become a faceless coorporate operation, I'll jump ship
> to ameritech.net so fast, I'll leave skidmarks!!! After all, one corporation
> is the same as another, in that case, and ameritech DOES have perks that
> make the extra $10/m they charge worth it to me.
>
> Are you listening, Voyager-suits??????

So, here's as good an opportunity as any, what steps/measures/actions
could be taken to prevent the "Faceless Corporation" syndrome you
mention in the above text? I'm assuming that you don't feel that ExecPC
currently causes you to feel that way, but if I'm wrong, please correct
me.

I'd be interested to hear people's thoughts on what kinds of touches are
currently present that keeps ExecPC from seeming like an uncaring,
faceless corporation. Is the history that ExecPC has in the area? Is
it the familiarity that people had with Bob and Greg, because of their
experience on the BBS?

If you could tell the people in charge what to do to maintain and
improve the level of service that ExecPC provides to you as a customer,
what would you recommend?

As the person in charge of making sure that the ExecPC web site (not
just Wisconsin, but for the entire, combined company) is the best of its
kind for its customers, I'm particularly interested in anything that can
be done from that perspective. (I can pass along information and
influence other areas of discussion, but I have direct control over the
web site operations)

We're in the process of a redesign of the web site, to integrate changes
that aren't possible with the current design, and to build a structure
which will encompass the products, services, and support for the entire
company. I'd be very interested to hear from people who have ideas that
they would like to share, either in this group or to me personally at
sco...@execpc.com.

A survey was taken back in November-December, but I would like to
continue to garner the opinions of our customers. We do receive
suggestions and comments forwarded through the "Suggestion Box," and we
do read all the messages and respond personally when a response is
requested or warranted. We may not be able to implement everyone's
suggestions, but all the feedback we receive is considered when we make
changes and add new features.

When we get to the point of having something to show, we intend to roll
out the new web site for public preview, so that our customers can get
an advance look at what we've done, and have the opportunity to provide
comments, suggestions, and constructive criticism.

I don't know that any of that will prevent "faceless corporation"
syndrome, but until the Journal Sentinel comes to take my picture for
some reason, I can't do much about that. I did get my picture in CNI
Newspapers a while back, does that count? :)

--
Scott Jentsch
Manager - ExecPC InterActive
sco...@execpc.com

Mike Pietruk

unread,
Feb 12, 1999, 3:00:00 AM2/12/99
to
Curt

Speaking of the future, where does shell access fit into this?
The reason I ask are two:

(1) There appears to have been no updating of either Pine or Lynx
in quite a while?

(2) I believe (and someone correct me if I am in error) that
Voyager doesn't offer a shell as part of its dial-up package to
its Michigan customers.

Jeff Scheibe

unread,
Feb 12, 1999, 3:00:00 AM2/12/99
to
>

Having shared a "rooster burger" back in the early days - some time ago - I'm disappointed
to hear you won't be part of the company anymore. You provided a lot of leadership in the
latter part of your career and a lot of "sweat work" in the earlier years.

My hope is that this is a case of "too many cooks". However, I've personally been involved
in two work situations where outside entities took control with less than satisfying
results. Here's hoping that's different in the case of EXEC, and that you personally go on
too more successes.

Michael Mittelstadt

unread,
Feb 12, 1999, 3:00:00 AM2/12/99
to
In article <7a1iud$d...@newsops.execpc.com>,
Mike Pietruk <pie...@execpc.com> wrote:
] Curt

]
] Speaking of the future, where does shell access fit into this?
] The reason I ask are two:
]
] (1) There appears to have been no updating of either Pine or Lynx
] in quite a while?

We have been lazy on updating shell programs, I'll admit that. One
reason is that we wanted to re-setup everything under Solaris 7 on a
new bigger RAID drive (/usr/local is pretty cramped now) and swap that
in. That keeps taking a back-seat to things like network upgrades,
but it is on our list.

Pine requires significant local hacks to get to work with ExecPC's
mail system, and there's also the recent flurry of problems with
security in the new version (4.10). So, I'm not about to rush in and
upgrade it just yet.

] (2) I believe (and someone correct me if I am in error) that

] Voyager doesn't offer a shell as part of its dial-up package to
] its Michigan customers.

Some of our Michigan offices do have limited amounts of shell
accounts, some do not.

As the someone in charge of the network and servers around here, I do
not forsee shell access going away at all. If it did, that would be a
pretty awful thing, IMHO, because it's so useful to have.

--
Michael Mittelstadt - ExecPC WorkMail: me...@execpc.com
Sr. Vice President of Network Engineering PersonalMail: me...@vib.org
PGP: http://www.execpc.com/~meek/pgpkey.html WWW: http://www.execpc.com/~meek/
SnailMail: 2105 S.170th/New Berlin, WI/53151 Voice: 1.800.ExecPC.1

Ron Hall

unread,
Feb 12, 1999, 3:00:00 AM2/12/99
to

On Fri, 12 Feb 1999, Jerry Behrendt wrote:
> Quite frankly, it wasn't his job to know how many calls we were taking
> or how many helpdesk messages were coming in. That's why there are
> managers, supervisors, etc. It's called "delegation." I didn't know
> Greg real well myself, but it sure seemed like he was very aware of the
> pressures on his employees. Compared to ANY other place I've worked at,
> Exec has always gone well out of its way to provide as many perks as
> possible, which I feel was largely due to Greg's direction (along with
> other folks, of course).
>

Delegation has its place in every sucessful company. But I think what
separates "good" management from "great" management is one which is
more involved with their employees. I often had Greg come to me and ask
me questions like "Are we having problems with the mail server?" And I
(Or someone else, a manager often) would tell him yes. What they would
often not tell him (It certainly wasn't my place to tell him) is that the
mail server problem had been going on for weeks. Either his managers and
supervisors were lying to him, not passing along the information, or he
was just not involved enough to know. Its his responsibility to know
things like that, and often I saw he did not. Just my observation, take
it for what its worth.

>
> If you really believe this, I have some swampland in Florida for sale.
> As a current employee of ExecPC, I feel like I have increasingly less
> job security as time goes by. I no longer have any idea what's going to
> change next. (what ever happened to "nobody is going to lose their
> jobs"?)
>

I don't believe I had mentioned job security anywhere in my post, but
since you brought it up... How many people have been fired since Voyager
took over? One. How many company mergers have you heard where 1 employee
is the only person let go? None.

>
> I've seen no badmouthing of any kind here. What on earth are you
> talking about? Greg replied to you with a few minor corrections of fact
> and you somehow managed to read all sorts of things into it. I *am*
> sensing some bitterness in this group, however none of it is coming from
> Greg.
>

Greg has been very Clintonesque in his choice of "facts" to correct me on.
What we haven't seen in this newsgroup is the position of current and
former management. Unfortunately, those groups are unable to respond for
obvious reasons. It servers no purpose for current management to get
involved in "he said she said" in the newsgroups, it would just make them
look childish. I happen to know a little more about the situation and how
it unfolded than probably most do. I know that Greg went to the Journal
Sentinel immediately after his firing, with an attempt to spin the
information to not only make him look better, but to damage the image of
ExecPC. I am sure he would not admit to anything like that, but my
sources are reliable. I think Greg has been spinning this story both in
this newsgroup and in the media to portray himself as the victim in this,
instead of giving the entire truth. Its a natural human response in
situations like this to try and do that, and I think people need to
understand that the truth is not only from one side or the other, but
often inbetween.


Ron Hall

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Feb 12, 1999, 3:00:00 AM2/12/99
to
On Fri, 12 Feb 1999, Greg Ryan wrote:
> I was generally aware of system problems and queried the managers frequently about
> overall call/email volumns and employee stress levels. Did it appear odd to you when I
> came around with the candy bag during many of those hard days? Cooincidence?
>

Okay.. (Hands everyone a Snickers bar).. can we all just forget about this
now?

> > get to selfish here, there were more people who made ExecPC what it is
> > today than just you and Bob. Your leadership obviously helped, but lets
> > think of EVERYONE involved here not just the top people.
> >
>
> Although the media often assumed that I was the "main" guy, I was very careful about
> giving credit to the team. Ouch, now, I'm getting defensive.
>

In most of the postings I have seen in this newsgroup, from you and
others, I see no mention of anyone else at ExecPC. Everyone simply says
"Greg is gone, ExecPC is ruined". Thats not very team orientated to me.

> That, I'll agree with. I never said that ExecPC was going to hell in a handbasket; I
> was correcting your mistakes. I wish ExecPC well... I still have a hell of a lot of
> people over there that I know and love. In addition, although I may be personally
> disposed against the people who terminated me, I believe that the team over at ExecPC is
> the best in the midwest and quite probably the world. The loss of one guy isn't going
> to run them into the ground.
>

Why did you run to the Journal to immediately get your spin on the story
then? If I would have been in the same situation I would have been pissed
as well, and I would have gone to great lengths to appear as the victim as
well. Most of the time when people leave a company under less than happy
circumstances, they simply say it was time to move on, they needed a
career change, etc. Clearly you obviously do not feel that way, and I
think you are angry at them and you took advantage of the Journal to make
them look bad. In the process you made the entire company look bad. Look
at the comments in the newsgroup for an example of this, everyone is
saying "ExecPC is going downhill". They are commenting on the company as
a whole, they are commenting on your friends who still work there, on my
friends who still work there. Whether your intent was to do that, I am
not sure, but the result is clear, the image of ExecPC was damaged by the
way you left ExecPC.

> Just where have you been since Sept.? Are you absolutely positive that you worked at
> ExecPC-WI during those months?
>
> Perhaps this was the ExecPC-OZ division?
>

YOU were my management since September. Chris Torto made it clear when we
had our meeting concerning this merger that he wanted an open forum
between management and employee. If that was not the case, then you were
lying to me, and every other employee who works at ExecPC. I didn't see
anything from upper management above you that indicated they were hiding
things from us. If you felt they were, it was your responsibility to tell
us, or resign from the company. If you wanted to tell us and they would
not let you, then clearly they had to fire you to protect themselves. If
that was the case, tell us now, tell the customers, what is Chris Torto
hiding?

> > the direction they feel is right. The people running Voyager had a very
>
> > similar track record of ExecPC, they turned a very small ISP into a large
> > successful one. I think they are qualified to make decisions on their
> > management.
>
> They are certainly entitled to do it; they paid for that priviledge...qualified remains
> to be seen. At the time of Acquisition, Voyager had about 20-25k customers. Relative
> to ExecPC that wasn't large (however it's certainly not bad).
>

Again I did not hear any reservations from you when this merger originally
took place. The apprehension sure seems to be strong now, perhaps you
should have consulted with Bob about your worries about this questionably
qualified group of new owners? Why in the meetings with the employees
were you so optimistic about them, excited by their ideas, and eager to
expand using their money? Was that all a lie too? How could you come
into a forum like this and express all of these reservations concerning
the merger, yet go in front of your employees and say everything is great?
Isn't that a HUGE conflict there? If you did not feel comfortable with
the new management, I think you did every employee a disservice by telling
them you were in agreement with the new managements plan. Not to beat a
dead horse, but it was your responsbility to step down if you did not
agree with them. If you told them you agreed, but secretly did not, how
could they possibly have kept you on? I feel kind of betrayed, and other
employees might as well. We trusted you would represent us in this merger
fairly, from what it sounds like you did not.

Victor Loberger

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Feb 13, 1999, 3:00:00 AM2/13/99
to
On Fri, 12 Feb 1999 05:11:00 -0600, Greg Ryan <gr...@execpc.com> wrote:

>Although the media often assumed that I was the "main" guy, I was very careful about
>giving credit to the team. Ouch, now, I'm getting defensive.

Hi Greg,

I've read these threads with interest. I have to say, I feel you've
been very careful in your messages to be fair and accurate, as far as
I know (which isn't very much!)

I remember when Bob hired you and you started working on the QWK
system for the BBS. Calling long distance, I was excited to be one of
your beta testers for the QWK system. Ok, so maybe almost anyone who
wanted to be one could be one, but I really appreciated it. The doors
and all the other enhancements that found their way in to the BBS were
great. It made Exec-PC BBS the world's best and largest for many
years.

In the past six months, we've experienced the selling of ExecPC to
someone from the "outside"; the announcement of the close of the BBS
in June or thereabouts; and, now the "passing" of your torch to no
one. While we hope that none of these events will have an impact on
what we have come to, perhaps, take for granted, one can't help but
feel some type of apprehension and, in some regard, grieving. You
can't turn back the clock, but you can remember the "good ol' days" of
ExecPC!

Thanks for all of your hard work. May your next job be as rewarding
and fulfilling as the one you had ExecPC.

Victor Loberger

P.S.

Curt, it's up to you now to keep the ship afloat! Good luck to you
and ExecPC-WI.


Jeff Scheibe

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Feb 13, 1999, 3:00:00 AM2/13/99
to
For starters how about a link to the web site as part of every execpc employee's
post of a message here?

Scott Jentsch wrote:

> We're in the process of a redesign of the web site, to integrate changes
> that aren't possible with the current design, and to build a structure
> which will encompass the products, services, and support for the entire
> company. I'd be very interested to hear from people who have ideas that
> they would like to share, either in this group or to me personally at
> sco...@execpc.com.
>

Robert Koch

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Feb 13, 1999, 3:00:00 AM2/13/99