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Case Summary

The CEO of Hathaway Jones, the luxury apparel retail store is Fred Westen. Four years back Fred was hired with an assigned  mission to take the company to new heights and with an expectation to turn the tables around and eliminate all the issues which the company was facing. The expectations were based on Fred’s vast experience in the industry and serving various luxury brands and had an impressive reputation and credentials. From the very start of expecting his new responsibility, Fred took some bold steps like choosing outsourcing as an alternative and being aggressive in his approach. Fred was on the mission and in order to achieve the designated task.  Fred was looking to enter the Chinese market for luxury goods as the market was showing immense potential with an impressive growth rate of 70% per annum. In order to enter the market heavy investments were required to make their presence felt and to meet the need in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou as they were the selected market and through heavy investments large retail store and a flagship store were established in these three major cities of China. The CEO was aware of the need of an excellent and dedicated team in order to cope up with the challenges the company has to face and to succeed in this highly attractive market.

In the search of choosing and selecting the right employees, Fred’s old roommate, and friend John Brewster suggested his daughter Mimi as one of the possible solution for Fred’s search. Mimi was highly interested in working with Hathaway Jones and was stalking the company and was aware of this new move of the company and their need. Mimi was aware of multiple Chinese languages as she spent her childhood and early years of teen in China and was completely aware of Chinese culture and had a considerable knowledge of management consultancy in China. Having a masters degree in business management from a reputed university like Stanford and a vast experience of around 4 years working with the largest luxury store in U.S of shoes and clothing Eleanor Gaston, Mimi was aiming to work in a global market especially in a growing market like China and to gain considerable experience of general management.  With an impressive educational background, vast experience and considerable knowledge of Chinese market and culture, Mimi was hoping to be the first choice and was highly confident about her selection. She then graduated from Stanford with an MBA.


In the first meeting with Mimi, Fred  became aware of the abilities of Mimi and was assured that Mimi can be the best possible candidate for the company which was why he recommended her to Virginia Flanders, the vice president of human resource department of the company. The vice president for human resource had a different opinion about Mimi regarding HR and was of the view that Fred might have given more importance or relied more on his sixth sense ability to determine the right people for the job rather than utilizing his internal ability and skills. The letter of recommendation of Mimi was very impressive as Virginia also found them attractive and impressive as Mimi was described as creative, innovative,  dogmatic and most important risk takers by his previous employers. Virginia after viewing her profile and analyzing her skills and abilities as described by previous employers found some skills as irrelevant for the company and hiring Mimi in  her opinion will be a bold decision.

Virginia was quite keen on using Google as a source of scanning employees and in doing so, she deeply searched the first 11 pages to find some data about the candidate and the involvement of the candidate in different activities. In doing the same search for Mimi, Virginia came to know that she was leading a vocal, but non-violent protest group and was providing support to the group in mobilizing their activities against the World Trade Organization. The involvement of Mimi was found deeply rooted in the movement rather than just a way of expressing a student defiance after Virgina conducted further investigation about her. The reason Virginia made such conclusion was because Mimi was the cover photo of the featured story in the local newspaper which portrayed her protesting in front of the Chinese consulate in San Fransisco...........................

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