Supplement | HBS Case Collection | September 2008 (Revised March 2009)

Traversing a Career Path: Pat Fili-Krushel (B)

by Kathleen L. McGinn, Deborah M. Kolb and Cailin B. Hammer


Pat Fili-Krushel has agreed to take on the job of first executive vice president of administration for AOL Time Warner, leading corporate human resources, internal communications, real estate and facilities, and other administrative roles for the combined company. She must figure out how to structure the job, and how to start her relationship with her new boss, CEO Richard Parsons. Two factors complicate this decision. First, AOL Time Warner is experiencing significant internal conflict and Fili-Krushel is stepping into the middle of it. Second, Fili-Krushel has built her career on increasingly large line leadership positions, such as the president of ABC Network, and has no experience in getting things done without line authority. The case lays out the steps she takes to build authority and respect within the firm, and outlines the process of moving the firm's leaders from conflict to collaboration.

Keywords: Conflict Management; Leadership; Managerial Roles; Negotiation Tactics; Personal Development and Career; Gender; Power and Influence; Media and Broadcasting Industry; Publishing Industry; United States;


McGinn, Kathleen L., Deborah M. Kolb, and Cailin B. Hammer. "Traversing a Career Path: Pat Fili-Krushel (B)." Harvard Business School Supplement 909-010, September 2008. (Revised March 2009.)