Case | HBS Case Collection | April 2009 (Revised May 2009)

Oprah Winfrey

by Nancy F. Koehn, Erica Helms, Katherine Miller and Rachel Wilcox

Abstract

The case explores the entrepreneurial journey of Oprah Winfrey, examining how she built an audience for one of the most successful television shows in history; how she created the company, Harpo Productions, that produces that show as well as other media offerings; how she leads and manages her organization; and how she has chosen to use the authority and other fruits of success to make a significant social as well as business contribution. The case uses interviews with Winfrey and her team to analyze how the business model and strategy of the company has changed-in the context of a dynamic marketplace, rapid technological innovation, and Winfrey's own evolving conception of her purpose and path.

Keywords: Business Model; Entrepreneurship; Leadership; Corporate Social Responsibility and Impact; Mission and Purpose; Personal Development and Career; Strategy; Media and Broadcasting Industry; United States;

Citation:

Koehn, Nancy F., Erica Helms, Katherine Miller, and Rachel Wilcox. "Oprah Winfrey." Harvard Business School Case 809-068, April 2009. (Revised May 2009.)