The case data were obtained from secondary sources including academic, newspaper and periodical sources.
The Founder of Chipotle Mexican Grill, CEO Steve Ells, was a restaurant innovator credited with creating the fast-casual experience. He believed that food, sourced and prepared responsibly, could help “cultivate a better world.” Unfortunately, he had to step down after a continuing series of food contamination events drove away both investors and customers. In 2018, new CEO Brian Niccol was brought in from Taco Bell to reposition the brand and regain confidence. Was it possible to continue with Chipotle’s mission of “food with integrity” or was another strategy necessary?
Complexity academic level
This case was prepared for an undergraduate strategy course. It can be used to illustrate all the key points in Chapter 1 of a traditional undergraduate strategy textbook. This case would be best placed in the first weeks of the course, as a first case to introduce to students the idea of strategy as a process that continuously assesses and revises strategic directions and decisions. It introduces a discussion of the role of mission, vision and values as part of the strategy process, and addresses the responsibility of leadership to do an ongoing evaluation of a firm’s strategic choices.
After decades of successful expansion, The Reader's Digest Association's products were mature. With an average readership age for the flagship Reader's Digest magazine of…
After decades of successful expansion, The Reader's Digest Association's products were mature. With an average readership age for the flagship Reader's Digest magazine of 50.3 in 2004, efforts to develop new products had so far failed to entice a significant number of younger customers. Following a financial downturn in 1996, positive financial results remained illusive. Several major changes instituted by Thomas O. Ryder, CEO since 1998, including acquisitions, re-capitalization, restructuring and systematic re-engineering of the corporate culture, had proven mildly successful, but RDA, as well as the entire publishing industry, faced a persistent decline in profitability. Could RDA fulfill its stated mission to create “products that inform, enrich, entertain and inspire people of all ages and cultures around the world”, and could it do this by continuing to rely on the 80-year old Reader's Digest magazine?
Ann Taylor was founded in 1954, and its classic black dress and woman's power suit were staples for years. In 1995 Ann Taylor LOFT was launched to appeal to a more casual…
Ann Taylor was founded in 1954, and its classic black dress and woman's power suit were staples for years. In 1995 Ann Taylor LOFT was launched to appeal to a more casual, costconscious consumer. Under Kay Krill's leadership, the division began to outperform the original flagship. When Krill was promoted to President/CEO of Ann Taylor Stores Corporation in 2005, she was challenged with rebuilding the Ann Taylor brand - (i.e., meeting the “wardrobing needs of the updated classic consumer”) while maintaining the image and market share of LOFT. By mid-2008, an additional problem appeared: the macroeconomic climate was posing considerable uncertainty, especially for retail businesses. Krill was firmly committed to long-term growth. However, given the 2008 situation, what could she do to unleash what she believed was the firm's “significant untapped potential”?