Petrom was privatized by the Romanian state in 2004 and acquired by Austrian oil company OMV, with the state retaining a 20.6% stake in the company. The situation was particularly challenging for the foreign investor since the sector in which the company operated was strategic, was regulated by the Romanian state and the company was a key employer and tax payer in a country that was undergoing major structural change. Under OMV and CEO Mariana Gheorghe's leadership, OMV Petrom saw its net profit and sales almost double since 2005, while headcount was reduced by 50%. Gheorghe had negotiated challenges stemming from Petrom's legacy as a state-owned company, such as lack of investment, aged assets, operational inefficiency, and bureaucracy while successfully managing the triangular partnership between the acquirer OMV, acquiree OMV Petrom and the Romanian government.
Can IKEA Group double its global sales within a decade by expending in emerging markets while implementing on its ambitious sustainability strategy that included focusing on raw material sourcing and suppliers’ production processes? The case focuses on IKEA Group’s efforts to manage the environmental impacts associated with its use of wood, which constituted the majority of its total procurement volume. The company needs to design and deploy a sustainability plan to procure wood to support production processes and stores located throughout the world, especially in the context of the company’s aggressive growth plans.
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Vincent Dessain, a Belgian national, is the Executive Director of the Europe Research Center (ERC). Vincent has extensive management and business education experience. He is a co-author of two books in finance, a book chapter on intercultural management and a co-author of a wide variety of articles in academic journals, case studies and course development notes (cases can be found on www.hbsp.harvard.edu or here). He is a frequent guest speaker invited by academia, business and government to speak on topics in management and education.
Prior to his appointment at the Europe Research Center, he was Senior Director of Corporate Relationships at INSEAD in Fontainebleau and elected as the representative of the INSEAD administration on the School’s Board of Directors. Earlier in his career, Vincent has been active as a management consultant with Booz-Allen & Hamilton in New York and Paris. His field of consulting was international market entry strategies, financial products, strategy, negotiation and implementation of cross border alliances, financial restructuring, mergers and acquisitions. He has also been active as a Foreign Associate with the law firm Shearman & Sterling in New York in Banking and Finance and as an Advisor to the President of the College of Europe in Bruges, Belgium.
Vincent speaks five European languages (French, English, German, Dutch and Italian). He holds a law degree from Leuven University (Belgium), a Business Administration degree from Louvain University (Belgium), an MBA from Harvard Business School (Boston, USA), and a PhD in management and communication from Université Paris VIII, France, on corporate social responsibility.