Business-Owning Parents Struggle to Recruit the Kids

Business-Owning Parents Struggle to Recruit the Kids

by Robert Johnson
Staff Reporter of The Wall Street Journal

This article is reprinted by permission from

Justin Wyner would love to woo his youngest son, James, into the family’s successful fabric business. Trouble is, he can’t find his adventurous offspring, who’s out exploring remote parts of East Asia on a six-month vacation.

James Wyner, a 38-year-old Harvard-educated business consultant for McKinsey & Co. in New York, already has a good job, concedes his father, 74. “He’s working with the top executives of some pretty big companies about their directions; it’s heady stuff.” Besides, says the elder Mr. Wyner, “It must be a good job to get six months off on a leave of absence.”

Six months of leisure is unheard of at Mr. Wyner’s very on-the-beaten-path company, Shawmut Mills, a fourth-generation maker of materials for automobile seats, based in West Bridgewater, Mass. Still, the senior Mr. Wyner is searching for the right recruiting pitch and to “create a great situation” for James at the company. More…