In 1996, Sunbeam, a home-appliance maker whose origins date to the development of electricity, found its stock price trading at an all-time low. Maximizing shareholder returns was the corporate mantra of the decade; Sunbeam reacted to its languishing stock by bringing in Albert J. Dunlap-also known as "Chainsaw Al" and "Rambo in Pinstripes" for his strategy of massive downsizing-as its new CEO. A year later, Sunbeam's costs were down, its sales were up, and its stock price was soaring. However, accounting irregularities soon came to light, and the company faced the true cost of Dunlap's practices. In this case, students learn how Dunlap and his team misrepresented Sunbeam's finances.
Case id: 100103
Supplemental Material: Teaching Slides