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Aubrey McClendon, founder and CEO of Chesapeake Energy, was, according to Fortune Magazine, the highest paid U.S. CEO in 2008 receiving over $100 million in total compensation. McClendon received this compensation despite a significant drop in the company's stock price and financial performance during the year. The (A) case addresses the specifics of the compensation and the rationale for the compensation from the perspective of Chesapeake's board and its compensation committee including McClendon's role in consummating several joint ventures, which the board and committee believed positioned the company for future growth in the relatively young industry of unconventional natural gas exploration and extraction. In addition, the (A) case describes the role of the compensation committee and the company's executive performance measurement factors.
In recent years, Au Bon Pain (ABP), a chain of upscale French bakeries/sandwich cafes based in Boston, confronted a set of human resource problems endemic to the fast food industry (i.e., a labor shortage which made it difficult to attract and maintain quality crew personnel and management candidates, an inadequately trained management staff, and high turnover). To deal with the resulting "cycle of failure" while increasing individual initiative and performance at the unit level, ABP devised a new compensation-incentive system for its store managers--the Partner/Manager Program. Under this program, store managers would be paid a standard base salary plus a share of the incremental profits. The case asks students to evaluate the program by comparing it to ABP's existing compensation system, determining the different ways in which managers from two stores operating under an experimental run of the program achieved their results, and by considering the strategic implications of implementing the program in all of the company's stores.
ATR KimEng is a Philippino asset management business. It is making an important decision on its own strategy going forward: should it stay independent, or be taken over by a large bank in the region. Through this case, we disuss the financial service industry in South East Asia, and study the opportunities and challenges presented by the changing global market dynamics.
This chapter identifies a number of different atomic e-business models-which are the building blocks of more complex business models-designed to provide a conceptual framework for analyzing and understanding e-business initiatives.
Atlas must decide whether to acquire La Indeca, increasing its Central American presence, or to focus on larger Latin American markets where higher growth is possible. In the year 2000, Jorge Rodriguez was in charge of Atlas Electrica, the largest home appliance firm in Central America. Although it had almost doubled its sales in the 1990s, by the end of the decade Atlas was experiencing a declining market share in its home region and facing increasing competition from outside the region, especially from Mexican and Korean multinationals. At the time, Atlas' main competitor in Central America, El Salvador-based Indeca, was up for sale. Atlas Electrica, based in Costa Rica, served more than a dozen Latin American countries. Since its establishment in 1961, it had served Central American markets with different types of home appliances, later focusing on white-goods for middle-income segments of Central American consumers. In the mid-1990s, through a strategic alliance with Sweden's AG Electrolux, Atlas had expanded to Latin American markets beyond Central America.
Atlas Copco, a Swedish company, holds the highest market share for air compressors worldwide. However, its attempts to enter U.S. markets have been unsuccessful. The case describes a series of strategic distribution maneuvers implemented by the company which enable it to improve market share from about 1% to 10% in ten years. The objective is to gain an understanding of what is involved in building distribution strength.
Atlantis Paradise Island adopted a new vision and mission to provide its guests and employees an enhanced brand experience. The dilemma Atlantis faced was how to integrate the new vision and mission into all the brand touch points in order to improve customer satisfaction and employee engagement.
Supplements the (A) case. Designed as an in-class handout.
An exercise that takes students through five stages of growth in an entrepreneurial start-up in the medical devices industry: 1) founding, 2) growth, 3) push to profitability, 4) relocation process, and 5) takeover by new management. At each stage, students must confront tensions in balancing profit, growth and control. Difficulties encountered in the business are due to management's attempts to design and use formal control systems to achieve profit and performance goals.
A major paper company is considering acquiring the assets of a company that is threatened by a hostile takeover. The acquisition can be evaluated in terms of industry attractiveness, comparative advantage, and cash-flow analysis.
Supplements the (A) case. Designed as an on-class handout.
Atlantic Computer, a leading player in the high-end server market, has detected a marketplace opportunity in the basic server segment. They have developed a new server, the Tronn, to meet the needs of this segment. In addition, they have created a software tool, called the "Performance Enhancing Server Accelerator," or PESA, that allows the Tronn to perform up to four times faster than its standard speed. The central question revolves around how to price the Tronn and PESA. Although cost-plus, competition-based, and status-quo pricing are the most common means by which firms establish prices for their offerings, these approaches may prevent firms from fully realizing the benefits that are due to them. Provides an opportunity to optimize value capture for the firm by utilizing value-in-use pricing (i.e., examining the value that a firm's offering creates for the customer, and using the savings generated as the basis for developing prices). Also allows for the exploration of the challenges surrounding the implementation of a value-in-use pricing strategy. These include the reactions of competitors, customers, and stakeholders within the firm.
Two forest products manufacturers negotiate the sale of a group of assets. ACRS would allow the buyer to rapidly depreciate the stepped up basis to justify a high valuation. The seller recently paid greenmail, and this transaction may be linked to its desire to avoid paying off a second investor.
The management team at Athleta is attempting to raise equity capital for the company in March 2002. Athleta is a catalog and online retailer of women's athletic clothing. The company has made substantial progress, with anticipated 2002 sales over $20 million, but has been undercapitalized. Given the decline in values in the capital market in early 2002, the company has limited prospects for raising capital on attractive terms.
The widespread cheating scandal that rocked the Atlanta public school system in 2010 and 2011 illustrates how high-stakes performance pressure, without sufficient risk controls, can drive dangerous behavior. After becoming superintendent of the low-income and academically struggling Atlanta, Georgia school system in 1999, Beverly Hall implemented new measurement systems-many of them derived from business best practices-to motivate and evaluate the performance of teachers and principals. Educators whose students performed well on standardized tests received bonuses and public recognition; educators whose students fell short received reprimands, warnings, and eventually termination. With so much riding on "meeting the numbers," teachers and principals began taking drastic steps, including collaborating to change students' test answers while intimidating colleagues who threatened to expose the deception. As Atlanta students' (fabricated) test scores soared, leaders in business and politics praised Beverly Hall's data-driven approach for transforming a lagging school system into a model of success. More than a decade into Hall's tenure, multiple investigations finally exposed the scandal in Atlanta-and its terrible impact on the district's students. (For instructors who want to inject some extra energy, and fun, in the classroom, this case study provides material for students to stage skits in front of the class to illustrate how and why the cheating occurred.)
Waiting for Christmas by Judith StacyMarlee Carrington has never had a place to call home.Arriving in Harmony, Texas, she is thrown together with Scrooge-like Carson Tate. Amazingly, he reveals a seductive sense of fun-and Marlee begins to hope that Christmas has finally arrived!His Christmas Wish by Lauri RobinsonMorgan and Cora Palmer are married on paper, but in reality they're like strangers. Taciturn rancher Morgan's demons have barricaded his heart against his wife's love. Until a kiss ignites the fire between them....Once Upon A Frontier Christmas by Debra CowanPresumed dead, rancher Smith Jennings returns home and will do whatever it takes to claim the woman he loves. But Caroline Curtis isn't the same woman he left behind....
The purpose of this case is to help students critically evaluate the market value of LinkedIn's stock following its recent IPO. In the context of strong investor appetite for social media companies, LinkedIn is the lamp bearer among U.S. companies in that industry that are considering tapping into public markets. The case can serve to illustrate the challenges of valuing an early-stage high-growth company with a great deal of uncertainty about fundamental value and how quoted prices might reflect expectations that are hard to justify. Regardless of which valuation method is employed (e.g., residual income, discounted cash flow, multiples), the case provides a platform (i) to map the firm's key success and risk factors into forecasts and estimates for its future performance and cost of capital, and (ii) to critically assess the implied assumptions underlying the market's expectations. The case is best suited for a course on business valuation at all levels (undergraduate, MBA, executive programs).
In June 2008, the online professional networking service LinkedIn became a $1 billion company. But CEO Dan Nye understood that LinkedIn faced several strategic dilemmas. Founded in 2002, LinkedIn by 2008 had become the world's leading professional networking service (PNS), with more than 23 million members. Aiming to "dominate the business of business networking," in Nye's words, LinkedIn allowed individual members to post a profile on the LinkedIn site and then to use the site's tools to search for job opportunities; to recruit job candidates; to find suppliers, partners, and customers; and to seek out expert advice. The company was also expanding into corporate services that would enable companies to build and manage their own online networks. With revenue sources that included advertising, premium subscriptions, job posting services, and business solutions, LinkedIn was on track to bring in revenues in 2008 of up to $100 million. A new funding round in mid-2008 yielded a $1 billion valuation for the company. Three key dilemmas confronted LinkedIn, however. First, at a time when the "walled garden" model of online community building was under siege, it had to decide how far it should open its platform to users. Second, in light of competition from highly popular social network services such as Facebook and MySpace, LinkedIn had to decide whether to incorporate social networking into its value proposition. Third, in an increasingly global business environment, it had to weigh the option of merging with its leading international competitor, XING.com.
In the summer of 2005, LinkedIn, a two-year-old start-up, was choosing between two options to monetize its 5 million business people network. Members could contact each other through trusted intermediaries on the network to offer or seek jobs, consulting engagements, expertise, and financing. The company had outpaced its competitors by building the most populous online business network, but it had little revenue to show its investors. The first revenue option entailed keeping the existing features unchanged and rolling out a bundle of eight new services for a monthly fee of $15. These services would be targeted at network members who had forged many connections, logged in frequently, and viewed the profiles of many other members. The second proposal involved changing a basic design feature of LinkedIn by allowing members to contact each other without intermediaries for a fee. Fewer members would avail themselves of this feature, but those who did would be willing to pay as much as $5-$15 per message. This option ran a substantial risk of alienating members and would prompt some to abandon LinkedIn.
Many important decisions require you to select now among alternatives that will greatly influence your decisions in the future. This chapter addresses an important element of effective decision making, illustrating how to deal more effectively with decisions that are linked over time.
Workforce or talent strategies don't matter strategically in their own right. They matter only when they make a difference in strategy execution. This chapter provides the business case for the importance of linking workforce strategy to strategic capabilities. It also describes several approaches to determining the strategic capabilities in your organization and shows how the structure of a differentiated workforce strategy follows from a focus on capabilities. This chapter was originally published as chapter 2 of "The Differentiated Workforce: Transforming Talent into Strategic Impact."