Case | HBS Case Collection | May 2011 (Revised June 2011)

The Crisis at Tyco - A Director's Perspective

by Suraj Srinivasan and Aldo Sesia


In 2002, Wendy Lane had been a member of the board of directors at Tyco International a little more than a year when the company's CEO Dennis Kozlowski and other top executives were accused of fraud, which ultimately led to resignations, imprisonments, lawsuits, and SEC filings. In a short period of time Tyco lost 2/3rds of its market value. Many outside the company questioned the board's leadership and diligence. Lane, who had a successful career in investment banking before becoming a professional director, was caught in the firestorm. The case discusses the events that led to the crisis, her reflections on managing the crisis both personally and professionally, the reputational risk she encountered, and the lessons she learned as a director.

Keywords: Management Teams; Reputation; Governing and Advisory Boards; Crisis Management; Accounting Audits; Problems and Challenges; Risk Management; Finance; Managerial Roles; Lawsuits and Litigation; Service Industry; United States;


Srinivasan, Suraj, and Aldo Sesia. "The Crisis at Tyco - A Director's Perspective." Harvard Business School Case 111-035, May 2011. (Revised June 2011.)