Analysis of Tim Hortons Shareholder Letter

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Introduction In Tim Hortons’ 2009 Annual Report, CEO Donald B. Schroeder presented a letter to shareholders that built trust in the leadership of the company. The tone of the letter is casual, yet informative. He speaks to the company’s success over the year and its goals for the future, giving credible examples to back up his claims. By avoiding the use of confusing jargon and omitting unnecessary information, he has demonstrated respect for his audience and penned a successful letter. Summary The letter to shareholders begins with an introduction to the troubled economic climate that Tim Hortons faced in the past financial year. Included with the opening of the letter is the company’s financial strength and how they surpassed sales targets. The CEO goes on to share company achievements in 2009 and their strategic plan going forward. Finally, Schroeder concludes his letter to shareholders with Tim Hortons’ iconic brand status in Canada and its goal to build on that foundation. In general, Schroeder has written the letter with a positive theme and has indicated a thriving outlook for Tim Hortons. Analysis According to L.J Rittenhouse, the goal of a shareholder letter is to build trust. Tim Hortons’ CEO was successful in this aspect. A comfortable tone is set with his writing style. The letter is not extensively formal and reads as if you are engaged in conversation. While at first some paragraphs seem wordy and excessively long, the presiding feeling after reading them is that of listening to the writer’s voice tell a story. For example, Schroeder uses lengthy sentences on two occasions. The first instance was in the third paragraph where he writes about Tim Hortons’ success compared with industry average. The second occasion was toward the end of the letter while writing about earnings per share expectations. As a result of the long sentences, the

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