Video Kings, a Recent History
Blockbuster has had three CEOs and at least as many strategies since March, 1996. Here's how the company fared under the reign of each.
STEVEN R. BERRARD
His mentor, Wayne Huizenga, sold Blockbuster to Viacom for $8.4 billion. Berrard stayed to run the company; expanded aggressively, especially overseas. Margins were high, thanks in part to a big write-down. Quit in March, 1996.
Blockbuster Video cash flow in 1995: $785 million.
The Wal-Mart veteran vowed to transform stores into entertainment centers. He centralized distribution and moved headquarters to Texas. A third of the executives left. Analysts valued the company at $4.2 billion. Fields left in April, 1997.
Cash flow in 1996: $773 million.
JOHN F. ANTIOCO
After the former Taco Bell head agreed to take the Blockbuster challenge, Viacom called its strategy to diversify Blockbuster flawed and said it would pull back in foreign markets. Analysts now value the company at only $2 billion.
Estimated 1997 cash flow: $500 million.
DATA: FURMAN SELZ, BUSINESS WEEK
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