What does Matt Espe know that would make him leave Ricoh so quickly?

June 27, 2010

I am sure that by tomorrow both Ricoh & Ikon will spin this 10 different ways, all to try and minimize the damage, but as one wise old man said “You can’t put a shine on a turd!” I mean WTF? Mr Espe had the top spot, he was the top dog at Ricoh Americas. All the industry pundents were saying that this is a “sign” that Ricoh is going to have the Ikon top brass run Ricoh Americas. Now what? There is no way that any thinking person could say that this is good for Ricoh. The shear brevity of Mr Espe’s reign is sure to suck the air out of the room for at least the short term. And IMHO demands an answer to the question that is screaming in all our ears… What does Matt Espe know that would cause him to flee from Ricoh\Ikon after being given the reigns?

At best this is a no confidence vote on the part of Mr Espe. He voted with his feet! But the question hangs in the air like the proverbial “elephant in the room”, and will continue to until we either get a reasonable answer or they find the next savior for Ricoh to hire. It has to shake the confidence of those faithful Ricoh folks who were thinking that he would be the future of Ricoh\Ikon! Hey guys get those resumes polished up if the top rat just jumped ship it may be time to start looking for a soft place for you to land.

That’s my $0.02
Vince McHugh



  1. I don’t think he left so quickly. He was likely in negotiations for his new job for many months… well before he was ever assured that he would be given the top job.

    • Jim,

      I agree that Mr Espe was likely in negotiations for months. But it is also pretty clear that Ricoh had no idea or they would not have offered him the top spot. It has to be a little embarrassing for Ricoh to make such hoopla over him taking the job, only to have him leave in a couple of months.

  2. Or maybe he has been in the top spot and they didnt know who would take the top spot and he has been around for what…8 years…be a little more responsible.

    • Mr Espe has been around Ikon for 8 years, but he just took the top spot at Ricoh. There is a significant difference, since it seemed like Ricoh was signaling that the Ikon top brass would take key leadership roles in the new combined Ricoh Americas (RIKON). Now what is the direction?

      • Hey Mr. Responsible –

        Espe ran away from Ricoh because when he took the Top Spot and saw the view from 10,000 feet, he saw a very seriously flawed business. Now his underlings who are trying to provide cover (or shall I say a ‘Cover Story’) are visiting RFG Dealers in an attempt to explain this obvious situation. Moreover, they are telling Dealers that one of the Brandsa will be going away. Would that message make one believe the Dealer community is in good shape, with good leadership, and a great direction? Even Ricoh Japan is in a management scramble where the deck chairs are shuffling. Have some respect for people who know what they are talking about before you write another note.

  3. Could Mr. Espe’s departure be attributed to a $6,000,000 retaining bonus if he remained for the required two years after the acquisition of IKON by Ricoh? The copier industry does not pay their executives as other industries plus as the new CEO of Armstrong, Mr. Espe can remain where he presently lives and would not have to relocate to the Greater New York Market.

    It makes sense to me! If I where in his shoes, I’d do the same, no matter how impressive the title with Ricoh.




    HELLO! (echo)


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