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How Four Rookie Ceos Handled the Great Recession

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Case in the News: How Four Rookie CEOs Handled the Great Recession

A record high number of CEOs in the U.S. left their positions during the great recession in 2008. The stakes were high for any new CEO that took over a company during that time. Some of the CEO's discussed what lessons they had learned after starting their new job during an economic crisis. Those that were successful learned that it's better to remain proactive and decisive with a great sense of urgency instead of just waiting out the plight and hoping for the best. John Donahoe became CEO of eBay in 2008 and was very unpopular during the first few months in the position when he initiated the first ever round of layoffs in the company. He maintains that being CEO isn't always going to mean that you are popular and sometimes you have to make some tough decisions to make it through a crisis. James A.C. Kennedy, the CEO at T. Rowe Price, was able to cut costs, which allowed the company to bounce back more successfully than any of the other mutual fund firms. He stresses the importance of personal time to remain calm. Diane M. Irvine became the CEO of Blue Nile in early 2008 after the company just experienced extremely low sales during the holiday season of 2007. Her strategy was to go on the offensive by investing and expanding. The website went under a complete over hall which included new search and filtering options for their customers as well as changing their processes to accept currency from 23 different countries. Peter Swinburn became CEO of Molson Coors in June 2008 when he was challenged with getting 15,000 employees on three different continents on the same page. He took the advice of one employee to utilize Yammer, which allowed them to work together on ideas via the Internet. (Jones & George, 2011)

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Bibliography (2012, May 4). Retrieved May 4, 2012, from (2012). Retrieved May 4, 2012, from

Jones, G. R., & George, J. M. (2011). Contemporary Management (Seventh ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill/Irwin.

1. Use the chapter material to decide what different kinds of management challenges these four CEOs faced as they took control of managing their different companies.

a. John Donahoe was able to position eBay to be competitive with its rivals, Craigslist and Amazon by facing the challenge of building a competitive advantage through increasing efficiency, innovation, and customer responsiveness. James A.C. Kennedy also faced the challenge of building a competitive advantage by finding ways to cut costs by trimming expenses through hiring, advertising, and IT. Diane Irvine of Blue Nile faced the challenges of utilizing new information systems and technologies by implementing changes to their company website which allowed customers to search and purchase jewelry online. Molson Coors CEO, Peter Swinburn,



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