Bonobos Inc. Early Management Challenges

By Joel Peterson; Bethany Coates
2009 | Case No. E368
In August 2009, Brian Spaly and Andy Dunn, cofounders of Bonobos Inc., a men’s pants company, were at an impasse over how the company should be run going forward. Spaly, the chairman and head designer, had originally started the business by selling homemade pants out of the trunk of his car. He wanted to continue overseeing product design with a very small team. Dunn, the CEO, felt that unless they professionalized the company now, they might miss their chance of becoming a billion dollar venture. The difference of opinion, which had been simmering in the background for months, had recently become impossible to ignore when the pair received their performance reviews. This was the second major issue to crop up in the last year, the first being a serious disagreement with a founding investor, and the time had come to resolve it.
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