ESPA Extended Service Plans of America

By Patrick Arippol, H. Grousbeck
2007 | Case No. E242
This case describes a series of 3 vignettes confronted by a fast-growing extended warranty services company, Extended Service Plans of America (ESPA). Doug Tudor had become the company’s president after completing its acquisition for Asurion Corporation in June 2006, after a 2-year search and negotiation process. The case is set 94 days later, as 3 situations occur simultaneously: one of Tudor’s 2 top managers improperly leaks confidential information to the company’s former owners, a terminated employee threatens to badmouth the company to its highest-profile customer, and new information regarding a VP’s drinking and performance problems seems to call for urgent action. This case allows students to understand how to deal with typical issues faced by small companies, including the dynamics of family-owned businesses, barriers faced when trying to professionalize management, and challenges faced by a new manager trying to build credibility in such an environment. Students are asked to role-play and resolve the 3 issues, and to cite best practices for handling such types of management situations.
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