Case Studies

This listing contains abstracts and ordering information for case studies written and published by faculty at Stanford GSB.

Hayagreeva Rao, Julie Makinen

How can a huge global company simplify its operations? AstraZeneca, a 60,000-employee pharmaceutical giant, faced a “patent cliff” starting around 2012, and saw revenue and income fall sharply for several years running.  CEO Pascal Soriot...

Robert E. Siegel, Amadeus Orleans

In 2017, significant changes were sweeping the global automotive industry: the rapid growth of electric vehicles, the race to develop commercially reliable autonomous cars and the ride-sharing phenomenon. Those trends were magnified by technological advancements...

Laura Arrillaga-Andreessen

Before becoming an entrepreneur and investor, Peter Thiel pursued a more conventional, white-collar path.  He moved between jobs as a judicial clerk, a lawyer, and a Wall Street trader.  In 1998, Peter Thiel cofounded PayPal...

Robert Siegel, Julie Makinen

The offices of Pandora Media were thick with excitement and anxiety in March 2017.  The company had just launched its new streaming music subscription service, Pandora Premium.  The product was a major departure for Pandora,...

Robert Siegel, Cameron Lehman

From 2010 to 2017, General Electric pivoted from an industrial behemoth to a data-driven tech company by incorporating big data analytics across all of their subsidiaries. As the world’s first “digital industrial” company, it named...

Kathryn Shaw, Debra Schifrin

This case discusses how the leaders of the Royal Bank of Canada infused the 80,000-employee company with a new emphasis on People Analytics. This supported the bank’s business strategies for its wide range of business...

Joel Peterson, Mark George

Paradise Bakery and Café: The Challenges of Success traces the journey of entrepreneur Daniel Patterson from the founding of his bakery in Southern California, through the challenges of growth, to an eventual sale, and a...

Sven Beiker, Stephen Lewis

This paper compares different types of shared mobility solutions, in particular carsharing and ride hailing, the two most prevalent forms today.  It describes the major trends prompting OEMs to engage in the mobility industry, such...

Robert Siegel, Ryan Kissick

“TTTech in 2017: When Market and Technology Trends Align with Company Capabilities” examines the Austrian technology company TTTech.  A global leader in robust networked safety controls, TTTech developed hardware and software solutions that improved the...

Robert Siegel

Between 2013 and 2017 PayPal had grown from $8 billion to almost $11 billion in revenues and had a market cap of over $70 billion. In addition, the product and cultural transformations of the organization...

Robert Siegel, Tim Hsia, Matt Saucedo

The Medium Corporation seeks to change how people author, consume and engage with content on the Internet. Founded by Ev Williams, co-founder of Blogger and Twitter, the company developed a digital publishing platform and set...

Hau Lee, Sonali Rammohan

In June 2009, Greenpeace accused the cattle industry of contributing to deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon. Big brands that bought beef and leather were named as silent partners to the practice. Pressure from Greenpeace and...

Mary Ittelson, Amir Goldberg, Sheila Melvin

In the spring of 2016, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, or SFMOMA, opened its doors for a series of celebrations following a three-year closure.  The museum had much to rejoice: a $305 million...

Jeffrey Chambers, Ryan Kissick

The Thumbtack case explores the major challenges associated with raising money at a technology start-up in Silicon Valley.  In 2008, Marco Zappacosta, Jonathan Swanson, and Sander Daniels founded Thumbtack, an online marketplace that connects customers...

George Foster, Sara Rosenthal

The case describes the journey of Zola, an online wedding registry designed to greatly improve the clunky and impersonal wedding registry process.  With innovative features such as group gifting, scheduled delivery, and honeymoon donations, Zola...

Rebecca Lester, Jaclyn Foroughi

In November 2015, U.S.-based biopharmaceuticals company Pfizer [NYSE: PFE] and Ireland-based pharmaceutical company Allergan [NYSE: AGN] announced a $160 billion merger to move Pfizer’s domicile out of the United States to Ireland in the largest...

Robert Chess, Ryan Kissick

In 2007, Jody Greenstone Miller founded Business Talent Group (BTG), a company that connected top independent professionals, including consultants and executives, with global companies for project-based work at a lower cost and with more precision...

Elizabeth Blankespoor, Emily Booth, Jaclyn Foroughi

In May 2014, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) and the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) issued a converged standard on revenue recognition (ASC Topic 606 and IFRS 15, respectively) aimed at ameliorating difficulties associated...

William P Barnett, Mooweon Rhee, Dongyub Shin

In 2017, AmorePacific (AP) was the world’s seventh-largest cosmetics company, competing head-to-head with leading companies like L’Oréal and Estée Lauder. This case describes AP’s unique approach to beauty products, which reflected the corporate credo of...

Michael Marks, Jackie Foroughi

In early 2017, camera manufacturer GoPro stunned investors by reporting its first recorded annual profit loss and a revenue forecast that sharply missed analyst estimates. What had once been widely heralded as one of the...