I like milka chocolates very much

In probably the best lecture of my MBA programme, my professor told us: “Don’t chase big salaries. Focus on working for a company which is aligned to your values.” So when I was offered a job with Cadbury five years later, I couldn’t have been happier. The company always knew it was part of something bigger, which is why its Quaker founders built houses around its factory in Bournville back in 1880.

My job in the audit department was to make sure Cadbury was meeting its commitments on promoting its products ethically, manufacturing them sustainably and looking after its own employees. From the factory in Bucharest to the office in Lima, all my colleagues around the world felt immense pride in what our company was doing to build a better world – as well as giving us the chocolate we loved.

That all changed in January 2010, when we learned that Cadbury was to be taken over by Kraft.

Todd Stitzer, then CEO of the company, called a town hall meeting in our Uxbridge office, looking emotionally shattered. He and the board had done all they could to fight off the deal but were left with no choice but to accept an offer from Kraft on behalf of Cadbury shareholders.

A few days later the Kraft CEO, Irene Rosenfeld, came to meet us and made platitudes about the future. But we all knew things would never be the same: Cadbury’s deeply cherished corporate values were at risk of being discarded.

As in any takeover deal, the number one worry was jobs. Redundancies followed fast. At the time my first child was on the way, so I was happy to take some time out and was well looked after – but others were not.

As part of the deal Kraft claimed in official stock market announcements that the UK would be a “net beneficiary in terms of jobs” and, if it took over Cadbury, it would be “in a position to continue to operate its Somerdale factory near Bristol”. But its management knew the plans to close Somerdale were well advanced as it would have been part of due-diligence. No sooner was the deal done than Kraft proceeded with the plant closure, resulting in the loss of 500 jobs

A guide to sixflags

  • Six Flags Magic Mountain boasts one of the world’s largest collections of extreme rides. It doesn’t have the cohesive “theme” of other area parks, but it has its fans. Some folks call it an “iron park” for the steel used to build the rides, and its collection of roller coasters come with superlative descriptions that include fastest, tallest, first and only.

    Six Flags Magic Mountain Basics

    Fans of fast, scary thrill rides like Six Flags Magic Mountain best. Some attractions are geared toward the under-48-inch-tall set, but most visitors are in their mid-teens to mid-twenties (especially on weekends).

    On select days between mid-March and early September, Six Flags puts on an evening parade that ends with fireworks. Six Flags Magic Mountain also hosts musical concerts and other special events. In October, their Fright Fest offers special themed activities.

    Good and Bad at Six Flags Magic Mountain

    This is a summary of Six Flags’ good and bad characteristics, based on our visits and reading lots of online reviews.

    Good:

    • Lots of thrill rides
    • Online reviewers who give the park high ratings think the thrill of their rides outweighs other factors. You can read some of their reviews on Yelp.
    • Six Flags Magic Mountain has made progress in keeping people from cutting in line (a huge problem a few years ago).
    • Johnny Rocket and Chop Six have improved the food choices.
    • To minimize the “fry” factor while standing in line on a hot day, misters help keep the queues cool.

    Bad:

    • Mediocre maintenance: too much peeling paint, chewing gum on the sidewalks and smelly bathrooms.
    • Waits can be 3 hours at the worst. With fewer visitors, they run fewer cars and lines are still long.
    • Online reviewers who give Magic Mountain low ratings write about questionable cleanliness, poor customer service and “rude, vulgar” behavior.
    • On a summer day, the heat can be nearly unbearable.
    • Lots of extra costs (locker rental, parking, some activities).
    • It’s a long drive out to Valencia and traffic can be more than aggravating.

    What’s New at Magic Mountain in 2019

    Six Flags Magic Mountain opened as just plain Magic Mountain in 1971, with trolls named Blop, Bleep, Bloop, and the Wizard as mascots. Six Flags Corporation bought it in 1979. Today it’s a place where new attractions appear every year.

    In 2019, Magic Mountain’s newest attraction is West Coast Racers, a racing coaster that will feature two side-by-side tracks with four individual high-speed launches.

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    Magic Mountain Tickets, Coupons and Discounts

    Buying Tickets at Magic Mountain
    ©2010 Betsy Malloy Photography. Used by Permission.

    You already know the easy, obvious way to get Magic Mountain tickets: Go there, walk up to the ticket booth, buy tickets and go in.

    However, if you get a little organized ahead of time, you can save some money.

    All the (sometimes confusing) ticket options, passes, discounts and coupons are outlined in the Magic Mountain Tickets Guide.