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Case Studies by Sylvie Bergeron

5 case studies

by Publication Date
published: 27 May 2016

  • Topic: Strategy
  • Industry: Computers and printers
  • Region: North America

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Abstract:
The case presents describes the tumultuous leadership of Carly Fiorina at HP, from her nomination as CEO, then chair, and early attempts at strategic change (a move to buy PwC Consulting) to a major acquisition (Compaq) and ultimately her removal by a board coup. At the time she was fired (and replaced by Mark Hurd from NCR) the share price was rising and results were coming through. During that time, she had a major falling-out with Walter Hewlett, son of the founder and President of the Hewlett Foundation, which owed 10% of HP's stock. She also fell out with Dick Hackborn, the person who had hired her and then offered her the chair position despite doubting - he later admitted - her ability to turn around the company's fortunes.

Pedagogical Objectives:
The case charts the leadership path of Carly Fiorina at the helm of HP, first as CEO coming from Lucent, and soon after as CEO and chair. It can serve multiple purposes. One is to discuss the boardroom dynamics during her term and whether she failed more as CEO or as Chair. The case provides an illustration of the Fair Process Leadership framework, with the conclusion that she was not a fair process leader, and underlines the need to manage the board, particularly in turbulent times. It also allows discussion of the particular governance features of US listed companies. A final angle is whether HP was still a family firm, either in spirit or reality (it no longer was in a legal sense) even when ownership had been been transferred to the foundation.

Keywords:
Governance, Leadership, Ceo Succession, Board - Executive Dynamics, Strategy, M&a, Wicfe, Succession, Next Generation, Education, Entrepreneurship, Leadership, Governance, Parallel Planning, Strategy, Boards

published: 24 Mar 2014

  • Topic: Strategy
  • Industry: Construction
  • Region: Other Regions

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Abstract:
Two young Russian entrepreneurs create a sizeable and profitable construction business through a series of acqusitions and restructuring efforts. As it begins to grow at high pace, they seek to create an effective system of corporate governance. They engage the ex-CEO of an investment company as chairman of the newly formed board with a majority of independent directors. The case describes his leadership, challenges, achievements and mistakes, showing how an effective board emerged from collective actions of its directors. The effectiveness of the board and the chairman's leadership are tested by a PR crisis provoked by a media interview given by the latter.

Pedagogical Objectives:
The objective of this case is to foster a discussion about the role and actions of the chairman of the board at different stages of board developemnt and in different contexts. It describes how the board is formed and becomes operational, how it becomes effective, deals with a crisis, and how the chairman contributes to the process. It also provides an opportunity to look at the succession dynamics and the roles different stakeholders play in the process. The case could be used as an in-class individual exercise where participants propose alternative ways of leading a board's formation, development and crisis management, or as a basis for a group discussion about the chairman's leadership, board process, management-board interaction and crisis management.

Keywords:
Chairman, Crisis Management, Board of Directors, Succession, Corporate Governance, Shareholders, Private Company, Pr, Corporate Governance, Value Creation, Strategy and Implementation, European Competitiveness, Europe

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published: 24 Mar 2014

  • Topic: Strategy
  • Industry: Construction
  • Region: Other Regions

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Abstract:
Two young Russian entrepreneurs create a sizeable and profitable construction business through a series of acqusitions and restructuring efforts. As it begins to grow at high pace, they seek to create an effective system of corporate governance. They engage the ex-CEO of an investment company as chairman of the newly formed board with a majority of independent directors. The case describes his leadership, challenges, achievements and mistakes, showing how an effective board emerged from collective actions of its directors. The effectiveness of the board and the chairman's leadership are tested by a PR crisis provoked by a media interview given by the latter.

Pedagogical Objectives:
The objective of this case is to foster a discussion about the role and actions of the chairman of the board at different stages of board developemnt and in different contexts. It describes how the board is formed and becomes operational, how it becomes effective, deals with a crisis, and how the chairman contributes to the process. It also provides an opportunity to look at the succession dynamics and the roles different stakeholders play in the process. The case could be used as an in-class individual exercise where participants propose alternative ways of leading a board's formation, development and crisis management, or as a basis for a group discussion about the chairman's leadership, board process, management-board interaction and crisis management.

Keywords:
Chairman, Crisis Management, Board of Directors, Succession, Corporate Governance, Shareholders, Private Company, Pr, Corporate Governance, Value Creation, Strategy and Implementation, European Competitiveness, Europe

Related:

published: 01 Apr 2007

  • Topic: Strategy
  • Industry: Media and Information
  • Region: Europe

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Abstract:
The case focuses on the Nielsen Company, formerly known as VNU, facing investor opposition to its acquisition of IMS Health for euro 5.8 billion. It first describes the history of VNU and strategy of its CEO Robert van den Bergh as it redeploys its assets between 2000 and 2005 towards Marketing Information, and away from print media. The case then focuses on the acquisition of IMS Health which immediately becomes contested by activist investors Knight Vinke, joined by other regular investors such as Templeton and Fidelity. Meanwhile, a private equity group that includes Kholberg Kravis Roberts and Blackstone, is considering to take VNU private. The Board is considering its position carefully

Pedagogical Objectives:
The purpose of the case is to illustrate the dilemma facing Board members now that a new wave of active investors and hedge funds is increasingly questioning management strategies, and making their voice heard. What is the role of the Board vis-à-vis investors. How supportive can they be of management plans when these face shareholder challenge? To what extent are these investors purely event driven or to what extent do their arguments hold merit? How to navigate in an environment where these hedge funds and other active owners have become a powerful reality?

Keywords:
Corporate Governance, Activist Shareholders, Hedge Fund, Merger, Private Equity, Shareholders, Corporate Governance, Investors, Stakeholders and Accountability, Gpei, Gpei-Case

published: 01 Jan 2007

  • Topic: Strategy
  • Industry: Stock Exchange
  • Region: Europe

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Abstract:
This case focuses on the conflict between the Hedge Funds and the Board and Management of Deutsche Börse, following Deutsche Börse's hostile offer for the London Stock Exchange. It allows participants to role play the perspectives of the Supervisory Board, led by Dr. Breuer, the CEO, Werner Seifert, the Hedge Funds (TCI, Atticus) and traditional investors (including Fidelity and Merrill Lynch).

Pedagogical Objectives:
- Explore issues of corporate governance and the role board members play - Help participants to gain insight into the dynamics of hedge funds

Keywords:
Corporate Governance, Stock Exchange, Hedge Funds, Mergers, Activist Shareholders, Active Ownership, Corporate Governance, Investors, Stakeholders and Accountability

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