Case | HBS Case Collection | November 2004 (Revised July 2005)

Messier's Reign at Vivendi Universal

by Rakesh Khurana, Vincent Dessain and Daniela Beyersdorfer


Focuses on a crisis in the board at Vivendi. Highlights the difficulties that arise when dramatic pressure from outside the boardroom affects boardroom dynamics. In this case, there are two events. The first is an unexpectedly large financial loss and a pending cash flow crisis that forces Vivendi's directors to deal with the issue of dismissing their CEO. Whatever they decide, their actions will be scrutinized by the press and investors and will likely be revisited in a legal environment. The second is the board diagnosing its role in the financial crisis by approving a series of costly acquisitions in recent years that led to the crisis.

Keywords: Corporate Governance; Crisis Management; History; Cash Flow; Acquisition; Performance; Telecommunications Industry; Media and Broadcasting Industry;


Khurana, Rakesh, Vincent Dessain, and Daniela Beyersdorfer. "Messier's Reign at Vivendi Universal." Harvard Business School Case 405-063, November 2004. (Revised July 2005.)