CEO Crisis in Napa: Laila Tarraf

By Peter Kelly, J. Patrick Robinson
2024 | Case No. E867 | Length 12 pgs.
Anker Vintners, a Napa Valley wine company, is grappling with leadership and operational challenges after the arrest of its CEO, Michael Anker, for illegal activities. The case highlights the reconstitution of the company’s Advisory Board into a fiduciary role to manage the crisis, addressing public relations fallout and internal stability without a clear successor. It underscores the importance of crisis management, governance, and succession planning in maintaining business continuity amid significant reputational threats.

Learning Objective

This case explores the how executives and board members in small- to mid-size organizations should respond to the unexpected departure of a key leader in the organization; students will learn how to organize as a board during the transition, how to sort through an existing team of talented but inexperienced leaders to identify internal candidates to replace the departing leader, and how to prepare for difficult conversations regarding feedback unearthed during the transition.
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