Bain & Co., the management consulting company Mitt Romney worked at before leaving with several colleagues to found the private equity firm Bain Capital, employed a “director of outsourcing,” according to news reports.
Mark Gottfredson, now a director at the firm’s Dallas office, has worked and written extensively about corporate outsourcing strategies — including a piece in Harvard Business Review on the successes 7-Eleven had in so-called capability sourcing.
In a 2004 CBS MarketWatch article, Gottfredson was identified thusly:
‘IBM is worried about getting into business-process outsourcing, and is looking for a way to get expertise and sell that as an option to their clients,’ says Mark Gottfredson, director of outsourcing at Bain & Co., one of the world’s top manufacturing-consulting companies.”
Romney started Bain Capital with the support and backing of his former partners at Bain & Co., though they are formally separate companies, briefly the CEO of the consulting firm from 1991 to 1992, and is widely credited with saving the company from bankruptcy when he returned amid a chaotic battle among the firm’s partners.
Earlier this year Gottfredson stressed Bain Capital and Bain & Co. “are completely different companies which have no legal ties to each other,” though they long had overlapping investors and were for a time located in the same office space.
Romney was not at Bain & Co. nor Bain Capital in 2004, but the job title offers a glimpse of how the two companies approached outsourcing and offshoring — practices which have come under intense attack by President Barack Obama and his Democratic allies.
The Romney campaign has repeatedly fought attempts to conflate the two practices, saying that in Romney’s era much of the “outsourcing” was transferring internal processes to American subcontractors.
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