Case | HBS Case Collection | April 1999 (Revised December 2003)

Al Dunlap at Sunbeam

by Brian J. Hall, Rakesh Khurana and Carleen Madigan

Abstract

Al Dunlap was one of the best-known corporate turnaround artists of the 1990s. In 1996, he was hired at Sunbeam to effect a restructuring, but was fired almost two years later when the company's financial performance and stock price began to decline. Many of the controversies that had surrounded him at his previous job, Scott Paper, followed him to Sunbeam: his rejection of the multiple stakeholder view of corporate governance, his aggressive managerial style, his shaky relations with the media, and his high level of pay. The case describes Dunlap's compensation package at Sunbeam and addresses the issue of how U.S. companies compensate "superstar" CEO's.

Keywords: Business and Shareholder Relations; Business and Stakeholder Relations; Restructuring; Stock Shares; Performance Evaluation; Leadership Style; Resignation and Termination; Motivation and Incentives; Executive Compensation; Outcome or Result; Consumer Products Industry; United States;

Citation:

Hall, Brian J., Rakesh Khurana, and Carleen Madigan. "Al Dunlap at Sunbeam." Harvard Business School Case 899-218, April 1999. (Revised December 2003.)