Sunbeam Corporation Ethics

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Journal of Business Case Studies – January/February 2010 Volume 6, Number 1 Sunbeam Corporation: A Forensic Analysis Patricia Hatfield, Ph.D., Bradley University, USA Shelly Webb, Ph. D., Xavier University, USA ABSTRACT The members of the Board of Directors at Sunbeam were completely bewildered. Al Dunlap, Sunbeam’s highly successful but controversial CEO was threatening to resign after almost two years of leading Sunbeam successfully out of a slump that had threatened the long-term viability of the company. Al Dunlap didn’t mince words. He angrily told the board, “We can’t fight a battle on two fronts. Either we get the support we should have or Russ [chief financial officer] and I are prepared to go…Just pay us.”1 The…show more content…
However, there were a few bumps along t he way. First, Al Dunlap 63 Journal of Business Case Studies – January/February 2010 Volume 6, Number 1 and Ronald Perelman, one of Sunbeam‟s largest stockholders, had never seen eye to eye. The media became involved and questioned Al Dunlap‟s leadership. After calling a meeting with the board, Dunlap addressed the situation by accusing financier Ronald Perelman of engaging in a media conspiracy to drive the price of Sunbeam stock down so that Mr. Perelman could buy a larger proportion of Sunbeam shares at a lower price. Roger Schipke Roger Schipke, spent 29 years working in the appliance division at General Electric with his last 8 years serving as vice-president of the division. Schipke knew the industry well and managed to increase the division‟s sales. Schipke later left GE and became CEO of Ryland Group Inc., a home constructi on and mortgage finance company. However, Schipke was recruited to Sunbeam by Charles Thayer, a board member of Sunbeam who also served as the interim CEO after Kazarian‟s departure. Thayer had worked with Schipke in the past and realized that his GE background provided him with the industry expertise necessary to move Sunbeam forward. Schipke accepted the position of CEO in August 1993. Quickly, he recognized the need to cut costs and increase brand recognition. Some cost cutting efforts had occurred before
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