Trunk Club

By H. Grousbeck, Austin Kiessig
2012 | Case No. E458
The Trunk Club case begins with a description of the company’s business model and the path that led the main protagonist, Brian Spaly, to the CEO post. Four vignettes compose the main body of the case. The first vignette outlines a series of challenges faced by Spaly during his first ninety days running the business, most notably a situation in which Spaly’s top salesperson threatens to leave with the company’s top five sales reps to start a competing venture if she is not promoted to the vacant COO role. The second vignette presents a delicate situation where the venture capital firm leading Trunk Club’s Series A round of financing lobbies for the inclusion of another investor. Spaly receives a strong negative review of the second investor and must decide how to approach the lead investor. The third vignette follows Spaly as he tries to court a highly coveted veteran COO with limited means at his disposal. The fourth vignette details an employee stock grant proposal pitched by Spaly, as well as Spaly’s subsequent negotiations with the company’s board of directors. Available for purchase from European Case Clearing House, and Harvard Business Publishing, link provided below.
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