John Stanton (B)

By Christopher Flanagan, H. Grousbeck, Nick Mansour, Joseph Welsh
2001 | Case No. E20B

This case examines the career decisions made by John Stanton, a young MBA graduate who goes on to an extremely successful career in the wireless communications industry. Starting with his decision to enter Harvard Business School, the case chronicles John’s progress - as he joins a management consulting firm, leaves that firm to join McCaw Cellular, encounters a power struggle at McCaw, goes out on his own to build a large wireless company in Western Wireless, takes on outside investors in Western, takes on international investors for a growing PCS business that he is building within Western, spins out the PCS company as Voicestream Wireless, makes several PCS acquisitions with Voicestream as he continues to run Western, explores the sale of some or all of Voicestream, and, ultimately, considers accepting an attractive proposal to sell Voicestream to Deutsche Telekom. The case ends with John evaluating whether or not Voicestream should accept Deutsche Telekom’s offer, despite risks that the acquisition might not close, versus wait for another equally attractive indication of interest that is on the table to formalize into a firm acquisition offer. Teaching Note available.

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