The case provides a great illustration of women leadership in crisis times. A failed merger forced a deep review of the firm strategy and a realization that the legacy leadership arrangement was not optimal anymore. The hustand-and-wife team ended up swapping executive positions, with Charlotte resolutely taking on the CEO position.
The case is designed as an integrative case looking simultaneously at key subjects such as leadership, entrepreneurship and management of a fast growing service firm, strategy as applied to IT consulting and finally gender studies, with the possibility to discuss the impact of gender roles.
The case investigates Charlotte's efforts at building an original Search Engine Optimization firm in Seattle, progressively taking control from her husband to save the firm from bad strategic decisions.
Expected learning outcomes
The case is written to convey the emotional rollercoaster lived by Charlotte and key decisions she had to make as the leader of this fast growing data analytics firm. Learning outcomes focus on what is expected of a leader in such situation, in particular a female leader in a male-dominated technology environment.
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Consulting in general, and data analytics consulting in particular, are male-dominated worlds where a female leader faces many obstacles to realize their potential. Charlotte provides a masterful example of how to contribute to and lead a fast-growing firm and manage the family and the relationship to a partner who also happens to be the co-founder of the firm.
CSS 3: Entrepreneurship
Emerald Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2021, Benoit Leleux, Charlotte Whitmore, Natalia Ligai and Theofanis Manolikas