“Bruce Wallace” chronicles the travails of an executive (whose name was disguised) who had a sequence of career experiences that made of him a company turnaround expert. The case serves the purpose of allowing students to discuss and learn about three of seven turnaround principles that are described in a reading that should accompany the case (which should ideally be distributed after class). Each principle is depicted as a dilemma that Bruce Wallace faced throughout his career, as the CEO of different companies: (a) How should he lead a troubled hotel chain into understanding and dealing with reality? (b) How should he negotiate with a $1 billion bank debt with his largest creditor, on behalf of a large national real estate development firm that could not meet its financial commitments? (c) How should he proceed and handle the termination of 30 percent of a company’s employees while providing with the needed motivation for the remainder of the company? This case allows for balanced debates around the three vignettes, as well as role plays in which students can experience the handling of each of the three difficult situations.
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