Graham Weaver

By David Dodson, Gelila Bekele
2022 | Case No. E110 | Length 6 pgs.

This case tells the story of Graham Weaver as he forms and grows Alpine ventures, a private equity firm he started while still a student at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business. Over the course of twenty years, Weaver built a private equity firm centered around talent. As Alpine continued to grow, Weaver faced a whole new set of challenges around managing a growing team and creating a culture to advance “A-players” within Alpine.

This case is structured around three dilemma that arise when managing growing enterprises, all of which Weaver must bring to resolution. The first vignette is an incident in which Weaver must decide how to handle the delicate process of uncovering information on a mid-level manager’s performance before the next review cycle. The second vignette concerns a scenario in which incentives provided to a high-performing employee were contested by colleagues in the company. Weaver must decide how to handle the situation with the goal of creating a culture of meritocracy while maintaining the firm’s fair promotion and compensation policy. Finally, the third vignette addresses in-fighting going on between top management at an Alpine portfolio company; Weaver needs to intervene to resolve the constant battling and diagnose the root cause of the tension to prevent recurring issues.

Learning Objective

This case is designed to help students develop a perspective on the interpersonal challenges that CEOs face when managing a growing enterprise. In the first vignette, students will be asked to map out their talking points for conversations to gather evidence on the performance of a mid-level manager. In the second vignette, students are encouraged to explore the benefits and consequences of setting a company policy of accelerated promotions versus maintaining a policy based on experience and tenure. Finally, the third vignette focuses on the preparation for a conversation to resolve recurring conflicts between two managers with the goal of helping to come to a solution for them to work together.
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