The End of Voicemail International!
San Jose, California - October, 1987 Chairman Paul Finnigan and Board Member Dennis Finnigan arrived early for a meeting with a representative of the Board of Directors at the Fairmont Hotel. The prior week, Voicemail International,thecompanythatPaulhad founded in 1979, had receive raving reviews of its Voicemail service from telephone companies from around the world following demonstrations at the International Telecommunications Conference in GenevaSwitzerland.
During the course of seven years, VMI had raised about $1 million in private funding and venture capital, $5 million in its initial public offering and the company had achieved profitability. The Company had also created a virtual monopoly in the Voicemail service industry worldwide with thirty five centers now operating throughout the U.S., Europe, Scandinavia and the Pacific Rim and Paul's trademark "Voicemail®" adopted worldwide as the term used in referencing voice services and systems. VMI was now the preferred choice for Telephone companies, Airlines, News Services, TV and Movie producers, Call Centers and other services requiring large scale voice capable platforms.
Paul Finnigan had also co-founded the International Voicemail Association and was serving as its President, organizing and conducting biannual meetings attended by telecom executives representing service providers in countries worldwide. Finnigan was literally setting the coarse for industry leaders to follow in exploiting opportunities for voice technology worldwide.
In the face of all of this, the board of Directors of Voicemail International had decided to abandon the service business and create a new and smaller platform to compete in the already overcrowded enterprise marketplace. The board had chosen a new CEO and President, surprisingly a candidate with no prior experience in the Voicemail industry or in the development and marketing of computer based systems, of any kind.
During an hour of discussion, accusations, intimidation and verbal abuse, all the while gathering strength from memories of past mentors, clients and partners, Paul seized the opportunity to escape the insanity of the boards decision and resigned as Chairman of VMI. Less than two years later, without filing Chapter 11 or 7, VMI closed its doors!
Competitors were quick to join the race for the industry leading position now available for their taking.!
"The VMI Train no longer has an engine!" - Rene Beusch