Rosemary Brooks

By Aisa Aiyer, Carly Irestone, Garth Saloner, Alex Tauber
2005 | Case No. E206

The vignette starts by presenting Rosemary Brooks’ background. After seven years at Lockheed, Brooks was interested in joining a company where she could take more of a “customer facing” role. Brooks’ healthy appetite for risk, her desire to make an impact, and the growing number of opportunities in technology drew her to this sector. In 1995, she joined Formtek. During the next five years, Brooks worked for three small technology companies. In 2000, after Epiphany’s (the third technology startup where Brooks worked at) IPO and the burst of the technology bubble, Brooks was “really tired” and ready for a break. She took two years off to spend time with her son. After a two year hiatus, Brooks heard about an opportunity at a start-up called China Blue. Brooks met with Richard Wong, the company’s founder, to learn more about the startup. Wong founded the company in 2000 with the intent of bringing “Shanghai Style” consumer products to the United States via a luxury lifestyle brand. Soon, Wong asks Brooks to partner with him and become the CEO of the company. Brooks used four criteria to evaluate the China Blue opportunity. She first examined how well her skills fit with the opportunity. Second, she evaluated if the economics of the business model were sound. Third, she considered the immediate funding needs of the company. Lastly, Brooks imagined how well a Brooks/Wong partnership could work.

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