Loudoun officials said this week that although they regret AOL’s decision to move its corporate headquarters from Dulles to New York, they remain optimistic the company will maintain a strong presence in the county. - "County Still Counting on Presence of AOL"The Executive has shown us how effective "remaining optimistic" can be as a go-forward strategy. It is pretty much the entire reason we are where we are in Iraq. "Remaining optimistic" is not a plan, it is what is said when the effort is already lost. Baseball teams remain optimistic that they'll win it next year. Governments should not remain optimistic that their economic base will be retained, especially when their neighboring counties are expanding their businesses.
And there is evidence that the government knows this, but is too embarrassed to tell us.
A Loudoun official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said she was told by AOL executives that the move will affect fewer than 100 people. Calls to AOL seeking exact numbers were not returned Tuesday.That's right, we are expected to base our remaining optimism on a county official who will not be quoted by name and unreturned phone calls to AOL. The AOL's executives would not be quoted on the record that only 100 people would be effected, but they were willing to tell a nameless County official that. It sounds like the officials are being managed like mushrooms. And someone who knows a thing or two about the local high-tech economy was willing to say so, on the record.
Bobbie Kilberg, chief executive of the Northern Virginia Technology Council, a membership and trade association for the technology industry, said the long-term effects of the headquarters move could be more pronounced.Apparently, the majority on the Board of Supervisors not only flunk governing, they also flunk business. Loudoun needs better leadership.
“When you take the leadership of a company and move it to another city, logic tells you that over time there will be a diminution of the jobs that are left there, either because more functions over time will switch to the new headquarters or employees will leave for other opportunities. That’s basic Business 101,” Kilberg said.