Turnaround: A Tale of Two Pandemic Case Studies

Why did that company go bankrupt?

traffic sign indicating a U-turn
Topic
Strategy
Published

What happened? What went wrong? Those are simple questions to ask when a company experiences difficulty. In Professor Kathryn Harrigan’s Turnaround Management class, students uncover the complex reasons why firms get in trouble and help plot a route to recovery.

On this episode of Bizcast, Harrigan, the Henry R. Kravis Professor of Business Leadership, tells the story of decisions made by two very different firms – J. Crew, the famous purveyors of preppy clothes, and Smithfield Foods, the world’s largest pork processor – as they coped with shifts in their fortunes amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

While discussing the strategies companies take to recover, Harrigan also explains how the class instills a sense of responsibility that future leaders should feel toward their companies.

Find us on Instagram and Twitter, where we are @columbia_biz. Subscribe to Bizcast on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, or wherever you get your podcasts. You can catch up on old episodes in the Bizcast archive.

More from Bizcast

The moon
Leadership

Mission, Purpose, and Moon-Shooting with Vasiliki Petrou, Group CEO of Unilever Prestige

"Moon shooting is the right way to push the business and the world to a better place than the one we're currently living in."

a globe
Social Impact

Impact Investing and the Future of Flexible Capital

How should investors start considering returns?

hand reaching for 3 lightbulbs
Entrepreneurship & Innovation

What Kind of Entrepreneur Are You?

We start our new season of Bizcast with a conversation about the challenges of entrepreneurship.

An empty podium surrounded by many microphones
The Workplace, Social Impact

Inspiring and Exhausting: Reporting on Political Campaigns

What is it like for a journalist to cover the final days of a political campaign, right before an election?

Rise to the challenge.

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world of business, while bringing historical inequities and injustice into sharp relief.

Subscribe to Leading Through Change to receive the latest insights from Columbia Business School to help you navigate this unprecedented time.