By Andrew Rachleff
2009 | Case No. E319
As he sat at his July, 1998 board meeting, Carl Mitchell was speechless. His board of directors had just told him that it had unanimously decided that he should be replaced as chief executive officer of Indigo, Inc. For the past three years, Carl had poured his heart and soul into building Indigo from one person at a dining room table to a solid company of more than 75 people. He had successfully identified an opportunity in the emerging Internet software industry, brought together a highly qualified senior management team, recruited talented engineers, managed a complex product development process, convinced customers to buy and use the software, and obtained funding from top-tier venture capital investors. Although Indigo had missed some of its early optimistic revenue and profit projections, the company was currently ahead of plan and its growth was strong. With any luck, it would be in position to file for an initial public offering within 18 months. It had been a wild roller-coaster ride, but there was no doubt that Carl had guided the company to its current success. He had known that the directors could hire a more experienced CEO; he just never thought they actually would.
This material is designated for use in specific Stanford GSB classes only. For inquiries, contact the Case Writing Office.