Leading Corporate Renewal: Selim Bassoul at Middleby Corporation Harvard Case Solution & Analysis

Middleby Corporation was a designer and maker of commercial food processing and food service equipment for fast food in addition to high-end eateries. As its number of product lines improved drastically during the latter half of the 1990s, Middleby became increasingly unfocused. Gross profits and sales slipped. At exactly the same time, some of the firm's high profile product development initiatives ended in failure. Although Middleby's top management understood some of these clear warning signals, rather than take actions, they appeared eager to blame the disappointing results completely on the company's overseas operations. This inaction caused Middleby's fiscal performance to deteriorate further, resulting in breaches of its loan covenants. To eventually correct the situation, Selim Bassoul was transferred from his job as general manager of the Southbend plant of Middleby up to chief operating officer for the entire corporation. Bassoul had chosen the underperforming Southbend plant and turned it into a star performer, establishing a clear strategic direction and correcting and enhancing customer service, operations, and finances.

Bassoul had to craft a turnaround plan for the whole company in the areas of finance, operations, and strategy. Following these changes and others, the company was named CEO. Bassoul afterward determined to present the board of directors with a major acquisition chance.

PUBLICATION DATE: July 06, 2009 PRODUCT #: KEL422-HCB-ENG

This is just an excerpt. This case is about LEADERSHIP & MANAGING PEOPLE

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