In 1997, Mark died suddenly of a heart attack. Having left no plan for succession, his company automatically passed on to his wife Sheila, who had never participated in the management of the business. In the wake of Mark's death, his competitors took advantage of the uncertainty at the firm, and hired away several key managers and employees. Several long-time customers became alarmed at the management flight, and began shifting business away from the firm.
Within two years, the company that Mark had built was a fraction of its previous size. After a dispute with the remaining managers, Sheila decided to sell her interest in the company for cash.