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Case Studies

Case studies by Stanford GSB faculty that illustrate concepts and lessons in corporate governance.

James Baron, David Larcker, Brian Tayan
2011

This case is a follow up to HR-29A, and explains the actions taken by Keller Williams in response to the residential real estate market downturn in 2008 and 2009. The...

David Larcker, Brian Tayan
2010

In 2002, Baker Hughes was accused of violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). This case describes the actions taken by the company in response to those accusations. These include...

David Larcker, Allan McCall, Brian Tayan
2010

Netflix was among a small group of Silicon Valley companies to emerge from the technology bubble of the late 1990s a clear winner in terms of growth, market share, and...

David Larcker, Brian Tayan
2010

This case takes an inside look at CEO succession planning at Energy Corp. The case provides an overview of various models of succession planning, including external search, COO appointment, a...

David Larcker, Brian Tayan
2010

In July 2006, Barracuda became the largest investor in Tarco International. In a meeting with management, Barracuda’s managing director advised that strong measures needed to be taken to improve operating...

David Larcker, Brian Tayan
2010

This case is a follow up to CG-20A, and explains the actions taken by Tarco in response to threat from activist investor Barracuda. The case explains how the company relied...

David Larcker, Robert Lawson, Brian Tayan
2009

In January 2004, the Royal Dutch/Shell Group of Companies announced that it would reduce its estimate of proved oil reserves by nearly 4 billion barrels, or 20 percent. The announcement...

David Larcker, Robert Lawson, Brian Tayan
2009

Following the revelation that the Royal Dutch/Shell Group of Companies had overstated its proved oil reserves by over 4 billion barrels, company officials announced dramatic changes to the company’s organizational...

David Larcker, Brian Tayan
2009

In 2003, the board of directors of GDF decided to initiate a thorough search process to replace its existing CEO. GDF Corp was a leader in the telecommunications industry, offering...

David Larcker, Brian Tayan
2009

Berkshire Hathaway is known to many as the investment vehicle of Warren E. Buffett. To some extent, this reputation is well founded, given the investment success that the company has...

David Larcker, Brian Tayan
2008

Retail grocery sales represent a significant portion of the U.S. economy. The industry was highly competitive, with companies operating on low gross and net margins. As a result, grocery stores...

David Larcker, Brian Tayan
2008

In the late 1990s, UtiliCorp United, a utility that owned natural gas and power assets in the Midwest and internationally, moved aggressively into the business of wholesale energy trading. The...

Madhav Rajan, Brian Tayan
2008

Over the last 10 years, the number of publicly traded companies that have had to restate financial results has risen dramatically. Regardless of whether the restatements stemmed from the aggressive...

David Larcker, Brian Tayan
2008

In 2007, corporate governance became a well-discussed topic in the business press. Newspapers produced detailed accounts of corporate fraud, accounting scandals, excessive compensation, and other perceived organizational failures—many of which...

David Larcker, Brian Tayan
2008

By 2007, executive compensation at U.S. companies had become an extremely contentious topic. Reports in the press of multi-million dollar pay packages—in the form of stock option exercises, severance packages,...

David Larcker, Brian Tayan
2007

In 2006, David Zucker, chief executive officer of Midway Games, came under fire for selling a significant amount of Midway stock just weeks before a precipitous decline in the company’s...

Maureen McNichols, Brian Tayan
2007

AMB Property Corporation set out to be a leader in corporate governance and financial reporting. The company, a publicly traded real estate investment trust (REIT) that acquires, develops, and owns...

Ron Kasznik, Brian Tayan
2007

This case asks students to review the impact of SFAS 142, Goodwill and Other Intangible Assets, in the context of the AOL Time Warner merger. Under SFAS 142, companies were...

Ron Kasznik, Brian Tayan
2007

This case reviews the recognition of goodwill impairment taken by AOL Time Warner following the adoption of SFAS 142, Goodwill and Other Intangible Assets. This case is the successor of...

David Larcker, Brian Tayan
2007

In 2007, there were three prominent corporate governance ratings firms—The Corporate Library (TCL), Governance Metrics International (GMI), and Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS). These firms assessed the effectiveness and deficiency of...

Maureen McNichols, Brian Tayan
2007

The case study asks students to evaluate the role that the quarterly conference call plays in a company’s overall communications strategy with investors. In particular, students are asked to assess...

David Larcker, Brian Tayan
2007

Eugene Isenberg, CEO of Nabors Industries, was listed in a 2006 Wall Street Journal article as one of the highest paid executives in the U.S. over the previous 14 years....

Maureen McNichols, Brian Tayan
2007

In July 2002, a legal watchdog group, Judicial Watch, announced that it was suing Halliburton Company for overstating revenues during the period 1998 to 2001. The group’s contention was that...

James Baron, Brian Tayan
2007

The case describes the economic and cultural models that have led to the success of Keller Williams Realty. By 2006 Keller Williams was one of the most profitable real estate...

David Larcker, Brian Tayan
2007

By 2007, Gretchen Morgenson, assistant editor and columnist at The New York Times, had gained significant attention from business leaders, regulators, and academics for her coverage of a wide range...

David Larcker, Brian Tayan
2007

In 2005, Relational Investors, a registered investment advisor, launched a proxy contest to gain two seats on the board of directors of Sovereign Bancorp. Relational accused Sovereign of operational mismanagement...

Ron Kasznik, Brian Tayan
2007

In 2001, accounting regulators, especially those in the U.S., began to reconsider the rules of consolidation with a move toward a requirement based on “control,” with much less consideration of...

Maureen McNichols, Brian Tayan
2007

As the chief financial officer of The Walt Disney Company, Tom Staggs was responsible not only for the financial management of the company, but also for the communication of the...

David Larcker, Brian Tayan
2007

In 2007, Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) was the largest proxy advisory company in the world, with over 1,700 institutional clients managing an estimated $25 trillion in equity securities. The ISS...