Case | HBS Case Collection | January 1995 (Revised September 2011)

Charlotte Beers at Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide (A)

Abstract

Examines Beer's actions on assuming leadership of Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide, the world's sixth largest advertising agency, during a period of rapid industry change and organizational crisis. Focuses on how Beers, the first outsider CEO, engages and leads a senior team through a vision formulation process. Chronicles closely the debates among senior executives struggling to reconcile creative, strategic, and global vs. local priorities. Sixteen months later, with a vision statement agreed upon, Beers faces a series of implementation problems. Turnaround has begun, but organizational structures and systems are not yet aligned with the firm's new direction. Concludes as Beers must decide how to work best with her senior team to achieve alignment in 1994.

Keywords: Organizational Change and Adaptation; Leadership; Advertising; Advertising Industry;

Citation:

Ibarra, Herminia M., and Nicole Sackley. "Charlotte Beers at Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide (A)." Harvard Business School Case 495-031, January 1995. (Revised September 2011.)