A Whole New Ballgame: Jim Crane on Business Transformation
Whether it’s because of new leadership, exogenous shock, or a plain old rut, all companies eventually need to change. While there’s no single template for how to transform your business, you can learn a lot from those who have done it successfully; and there’s probably no better example than Jim Crane and the Houston Astros baseball franchise.
When Jim bought the team in 2011, they were one of the worst teams in baseball. Over the course of the next decade, they became one of the most successful. Under Jim, the Astros have won two championships and become perennial contenders. They’ve also tripled their revenue. So how did he do it?
On this episode, we’ll explore Jim’s approach to transformation: how he identifies problems, manages his teams, and creates partnerships with multiple stakeholders, all with an eye toward a winning culture. Find out the reason Jim took a hands-off approach to baseball operations and why he invested heavily in the Astros’ charitable foundation. Plus, how Jim applied the same formula to the PGA Tour’s Houston Open.
When you transform your business, you have to cover your bases. So join us and get strategies that will help you right off the bat.
Read the full show transcript.
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Meet the Host
Patrick Pacheco, Executive Vice President, President of Cadence Asset Management & Trust, has more than 25 years’ experience in wealth management, in addition to the designing and implementation of tax and related planning strategies.
Pacheco’s background includes years of legal practice and multiple degrees, including an LLM* Taxation from University of Houston, a JD from Southern Methodist University, and both an MBA and BS in Economics from University of Texas at Arlington.
He is also board certified in Estate Planning and Probate law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.
Meet the Speaker
Jim Crane, Chairman of Crane Worldwide Logistics
Jim is a graduate of University of Central Missouri and is Chairman of the Houston Astros professional baseball team, based at Minute Maid Park, winners of the World Series championship.
Jim Crane was born in 1954 in St Louis, Missouri. His tireless work ethic, competitive nature and commitment to excellence came through in his youth as a standout pitcher for Central Missouri State University - now University of Central Missouri (UCM). Crane received numerous awards and to this day holds pitching records. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Safety from UCM in 1976 and went to work in the commercial insurance industry. In 1982 Crane moved to Houston and entered the freight forwarding business. Shortly after his move, he started his first of many companies.
In 1984, at the age of 30, Crane founded Eagle Global Logistics (EGL) with $10,000 borrowed from his sister. Crane grew and transformed EGL from a domestic freight forwarder with two employees to a leading provider of global end-to-end supply chain solutions and logistics with 10,000 employees. In 1995, Crane took the company public (symbol EAGL). By 2007 EGL posted revenue of $4 billion and had over 400 service centers in more than 100 countries. The company won numerous awards for growth and reached #599 on the Fortune 1000 list.
With the proceeds from the sale of EGL Jim formed his investment management company, Crane Capital Group (CCG) in 2006. Jim Crane is CEO of Crane Capital Group and is Chairman of the Board for his various companies.
In 2008, Crane returned to the freight and logistics business and started Crane Worldwide Logistics (CWW) with its first office in Houston, Texas. CWW was started with former EGL executives and under Jim Crane’s guidance, the company was able to recapitalize and return capital in three years and achieve revenue of $1 billion in just ten years.
In 2010, Crane purchased The Floridian and quickly turned into one of the nation’s premier golf clubs with a completely reconstructed golf course designed by world renowned Tom Fazio. Crane ranked No. 1 in Golf Digest's rankings of the nation's top CEO golfers in 2006 with a 0.8 handicap.
In 2011, Major League Baseball unanimously approved Crane’s acquisition of the Houston Astros. Crane is the largest investor of the group, the MLB control person and Chairman of the Board. On November 1, 2017, for the first time in the team’s long history, the Houston Astros won the World Series. A dream come true for a standout pitcher from Missouri, Astros fans and the city of Houston.
In 2017, Crane acquired DAVACO, North American leader in the management and execution of high-volume remodels and technology deployments for global brand. Additionally in 2017, Crane opened restaurants Osso & Kristalla and Potente across from the Astros baseball stadium. Crane also started Aperture, a winery in California.
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