Liz Claiborne, Inc.

By Anat R. Admati, Paul Pfleiderer, George Noroian
1995 | Case No. F255
It was mid-afternoon on September 15, 1994, and Stephen Calloway was wondering how to tackle the crash assignment just given to him by his boss, Katherine Metcalfe, Vice President for Strategic Planning at Liz Claiborne. He had been on the job just two weeks, having spent the entire summer trekking in Nepal after graduating from a prestigious west-coast business school. The first two weeks had been a breeze, but now he was going to have to put his MBA education to work to answer his boss’s question. Just after lunch that day, Metcalfe told Calloway she wanted his help preparing for an important management meeting to be held early the next morning. Liz Claiborne had had a rough year in 1993, partly due to continued weakness in the U.S. economy and partly due to the aging of some of the apparel company’s long-standing product lines. The firm’s top executives were committed to achieving a significant turnaround in 1994 and to making investments that would continue to pay off in the years to come. Metcalfe explained that the company was on the lookout for opportunities for expansion within its core businesses or moving into new areas. She noted that about half of Liz Claiborne’s revenues now came from new or recent ventures.
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