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Case Rip Cord Escapes Big D

The American Medical Association-Sunbeam Deal: Serpent on the Staff Meets Chainsaw Al This interesting subtitle disses Sunbeam CEO “Chainsaw” Al Dunlap, a turnaround specialist known for making severe personnel cuts a la “Neutron” Jack Welch. Apparently Dunlap did not visit HBS on his book tour, nor did he donate to the school lately.
Regardless, back to the case: “In July 1980 the AMA…revised the principles of medical ethics. The new version of its principles abandoned the bans on physician advertising…as well as the restrictions on various types of medical practice.” And thus, members of the AMA crafted Pamela Anderson from silicon and placed her on Baywatch so that all could behold their glory and witness their control over nature.
The Millegan Creek Apartments: One of the goals of Fleet Bank’s Commercial Real Estate Division is to “improve credit quality…by financing leased properties to credit worthy tenants like K-Mart and Rite-Aid.” Is Enron next on Fleet’s list of preferred tenants?

Telecom Italia: “Mediabanca’s shareholders included…1.99% by the Agnelli family’s Fiat.” Well, the case is partially about the confusing ownership webs spun by Italian businessmen, but who ever heard of making a holding company out of the family auto? Oh, wait-the Agnellis own the Fiat auto company.

The case continues, “After abortive talks with Spain’s Telefonica, US’s AT&T, and France Telecom, one observer commented, ‘[Telecom Italia] kissed everyone but all they ever caught were diseases.'” Having read the story on Dr. Biller at the Student Health Center a couple weeks ago, it appears CEO Franco Bernabe needs to make an appointment.

Shady Trail: “Holt Lunsford and his wife, Kaye Dawn, had had three young boys, Holden, Hutton, and Hayden, all named after roads in industrial parks in the Dallas suburbs that Lansford had spent his career leasing. … He loved taking his boys out turkey shooting in the spring and teaching them about life outside of their own suburban community, the way he had grown up in Olney, Texas.” The story ends, “Lunsford climbed into his ‘Texas Cadillac’ (which Easterners called a Chevy Suburban) and drove off to the ranch for the weekend with his family.”
Can you see Kaye Dawn in the recovery room after giving birth? “You wanna name another baby after a friggin’ warehouse, you freak?” And ya’ll grew up outside the Dallas suburbs, right, so help me out here: is it true? Is life really just about shootin’ turkeys?

Neiman Marcus: Speaking of companies from Bid D, Neiman Marcus is having trouble deciding where its next store should go, and it’s thinking about opening smaller jewelry stores.

Here’s the plan: First, convince Dean Clark that ifStanford can have a mall with a “Needless Markup” on campus, so can HBS. Harvard is primarily a real estate developer, right? Who needs that Pepsi eyesore across Western anyway? Then bring some freshly engaged students by to dazzle him with their sparkling new diamonds. Explain that HBS is three times the size of Stanford’s GSB, and at least that many times classier. Show pro formas for the new store with five times the revenue of the Neiman Marcus jewelry department at the Stanford Shopping Center. Convince him to develop the property across Western and front the cap ex for the store, in exchange for the establishment of a faculty endowment to be known as the “Carrie Marcus Neiman Professor of Retail.” Sweeten the proposition with a ten percent cut of each rock sold to HBS students. Have we got a deal? Of course.

Please send comments on your cases to Uncle.Jordy@mba2002.hbs.edu.

February 4, 2002
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