Gene One, founded by Don Ruiz and four of his colleagues, entered the biotech industry after Teri Robertson’s genetic breakthrough discovery. Teri discrovered that she could manipulate the genes of tomatoes and potatoes to make them resistant to bacteria and plagues leading to the growth of these plants without the use of pesticides, which pleased consumers since they could now buy homegrown products untainted by chemicals.
It was after this discovery that Gene One grow to be a $400 million company in only eight years.
Due to the rising stocks in Wall Street indices towards interest in biotechnology and Jim Maryanski, Ph.D., FDA’s food biotechnology coordinator, establishing the need for biotechnology in the food market, the CEO and his board believed and understood the need to keep a balance between the supply and demand ratio of the market. This understanding represented a dramatic change in Gene One vision and mision. Gene One is now in need to go public (IPO) requiring capital for new development, advertising and marketing, this of course to ensure future success.
The time frame established my the board was three years with the goal of achiving conservative annual growth targets of 40 percent.
It was toward creating a clear strategy to acomplish this new goal, that Don Ruiz passed away leaviing his shares of stock to his siblings. Now the compaany is without a CEO and the high executives are waiting for siblings to take a decision towards the future of the company.
Since Don left the company with a prospective plan for the future, his siblings decided to go forward with their father’s wishes.
After continued delegations, the siblings, along with the board of directors, came with the decision of going forward with Don’s original idea of going public.
Gene One’s new end vision is as follows:
• Meet key financial measures to achieve minimum of 40% revenue growth every year and offer an IPO in 36 months.
• Deliver on corporate imperatives such as increasing productivity, and goal to acquire qualified workforce.
• Employ Sarbanes Oxley, Internal auditors, and process compliance to meet the requirements of SEC.
• Grow an adaptable workforce that ensures we can provide the right skills for the right job at the right place at the right time.
• Achieve effective performance management in which every employee knows their objectives and contributions.
• Improve communications with our employees through survey, feedback, and face-to-face meetings, etc.
In order to achieve the company’s vision, a new strategy is needed along with restructuration of the team members and the addition of new members to the team.
Thorough evaluation of every member of the board was required and done by each of the siblings. Knowing the company’s situation, Don’s family is very interested in keeping peace with the company and employees and is trying to fit the possition with the best available candidate that not only will lead the company to success but also will help smooth and/or ease the transition process.
Being that said, Don’s family don’t want to recruit externally, the members of the board have been together for eigth years now and they know how to accomplish their goals by working as a team. Therefore, the new CEO will be an internal candidate.
The family in conjuction with the board, agreed on appointing Charles Jones due to his reputation for “smart” risk-taking and his buotechnology connections. Also, Charles has shown that eventhough he didn’t invested in the company, his professional pride is what motivates him to work hard towards the company.
Another strategic decision taken by Don’s family and the board, was to request Lucas Antonio, as John Kirby recommended, to come on board the Gene One’s family for the marketting officer position. The board is confident that his experience will help Charles and the rest of the team acomplish a smooth IPO transition.
Another strategic decision was needed due to the resignation of a member of the technology research department, Angela Thomas, VP. This lost could have been prevented if the leadership style of Don would have been different and less intimidating. Even though, her replacement was done by doing internal recruiting (Bill Chang), management needs still to motivate Teri Robertson and give her the prespective she requires to stay with the company.
The board understand the need for a change in strategic leadershiphas also requested Charles Jones to present a strategic plan to obtain the end vision previoulsy mentioned.
Don’s family added the following:
The leadership structure should be based on the board request for the new IPO setting. The team should be able to perform according to guidelines and time frames. The commitment should be on both ends; management and board members. Sometimes it is impossible to please both ends, but we can always find away to compromise. At the end, it is all about accomplishing the established goal.
Changes must be made to the company’s structure:
• IPO – In order to go public, a team is needed to guide the company and its employees through every step of the transition (management, research, decision-making process,etc) through good communication practices. Lucas Antonio will be in charge of this team and will report to the board of director. The purpose of this strategic decision is to facilitate the change to the rest of the employees. The addition of Lucas Antonio will create the elaboration of an IPO training program, which will give better understanding of the company’s new path.
• The Human Resources department will stay under Greg Thoman as before. He will be the “peace keeper” between management and staff. This department will be in charge of communicating decisions made by the board, changes in regulations, policys, etc, to the employees. Also, this department will be in charge of listening and answering questions or any concerns that may arise within the employees. It is with delicacy and caution that Don’s family is asking the board and the HRD to communicate these news and changes to the company’s employees.
• Michelle Houghton will maintain her position as Chief Financial Officer.
• Teri Robertson will maintain her position as Chief Technology Officer, at will. If she decides to stay, the company will provide her with a specialized research team to facilitate the innovation or discovery of those new technologies required to comply with the end vision.
• The board members, John Kirby and Susan Wells, will also remain at their current position.
The leaders/managers of each department will be trained in communication skills and leadership styles. The reasoning behind this is to ensure employees that the company’s leaders are doing the best they can to work as efficient as possible. Knowing that there is not one perfect style of leadership, but that they are willing to learn on how to adapt and cope acording to circumstances and/or scenarios and that one of the basis of team work is effective communication within management and staff.
Being that said, The board is ready to face the change and to adapt to the new regulations required for an IPO. The CEO will work in incorporating the values, gains and failures to accommodate this new end vision to help the company to keep moving forward.
Robbins, S. P. & Judge, T. A. (2007). Organizational behavior (12th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson/Prentice Hall.
Yukl, G. A. (2006). Leadership in organizations (6th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson/Prentice Hall.