1998 Hall of Fame–A Mentor, An Advisor, A Leader
“If you’ve got a successful company, there’s some reason why it’s successful,” Davis explains. “Typically, clients patronize a business because they are getting good service and a good product at a reasonable price.”
Chris Colville, Consolidated’s executive vice president of mergers & acquisitions, says that this is part of Davis’ recipe for success.
“There is a depth of experience from the individual company presidents and their management, and Joe is smart enough to step back and let those teams do their jobs,” he says. “He’s very involved and gives significant input, but at the end of the day he is willing to let his management team in their areas manage and run their businesses. Instead, he has become a leader, mentor and advisor.”
“I don’t run these companies,” Davis maintains. “The company presidents do. If they achieve good results, I want the presidents to be able to take credit for that. If they have poor results, I don’t want them to be able to say: ‘I’d be doing better if it wasn’t for Joe in Houston.’
“Key to our philosophy is giving the presidents what they need to run their companies,” Davis says.
Notes Colville, “Most company presidents from whom we’ve purchased companies are now millionaires; they don’t have to work. But they like working in the industry, they like working with us and they like having the chance to run a growing, more profitable business.”
“Many of them say that they are happy to get back to being printers again,” Davis agrees.
Dennis Rampe, president of Precision Litho, a Consolidated Graphics company, can confirm that. He first read about Davis and his acquisition strategy in industry publications. “I understood the dynamics of the changes going on in the printing business, and it seemed to me that what Joe was doing was very congruent with where I thought the industry was going.”