Tasty Products, a billion-dollar multinational company, has for
more than 25 years has developed, produced, and distributed organic food
products to major retailers (e.g., Whole Foods; Costco, Safeway) throughout the
United States. These products are noted for their salutary effects, including
stable blood glucose levels. Tasty Products has recently decided to launch a
new line of products.
It will develop, produce, and distribute all-naturally flavored
protein bars to its new and existing clients. This new line of all-naturally
flavored protein bars will necessitate establishing a new division to develop,
produce, market, and distribute the product. A new Executive Vice President
will need to be selected to establish and lead the new division.
Your company, Wiz Consultants, has been retained to help Tasty
Products’ Human Resources Director make the final selection from the candidates
she has previously interviewed and narrowed to three (3) possibilities. She has
prepared a detailed written profile for each candidate.
Tasty Products’ Human Resources Director has explained to
you that she has been directed to find the best person to establish and
run the new division. The Human Resources Director further explained
that the protein bar industry consists of many well-established companies.
Accordingly, the ideal candidate will need to learn quickly and handle many
complex leadership and management tasks.
These complex management and leadership tasks include the
following: developing innovative strategy, creating well-made products,
effective product marketing, developing and managing the processes and
procedures for employees to follow, and creating and articulating a clear
vision for the new division. Strong leadership will be the key to the
all-naturally flavored energy bars success.
The Executive VP will be the face of Tasty Productsâ new brand to
existing and prospective clients (e.g., Whole Foods, Safeway, Costco, and the
like). The key to success with existing clients
and prospective clients will be the ability
to communicate to them, “What makes Tasty Products naturally
flavored protein bars special.” The new Executive VP must be
viewed as a person of integrity and an innovative problem solver.
The Executive VP must be seen by current employees and
newly hired employees and their managers, who will all work in the
new division, as a leader
who understands and supports the culture, values, and
traditions of Tasty Products. In a short period of time, Tasty Products’
leadership expects the new Executive VP to have met the leadership
and management expectations discussed above and have the new
division running efficiently and productively.
In summary, Tasty Products desires that the new Executive VP for
the Energy Bars Division have the array of excellent management and leadership
skills necessary to lead the new division.
Your specific role is to analyze the candidate profiles that
follow and answer the specific questions (as identified below the last
candidate profiles) the company’s management has asked you.
T.J. has spent the past 13 years working for Star Lite Foods, a
mid-sized, $220 million in annual sales, vegetarian food distribution company,
headquartered and operating its largest facility in Arizona. She started with
the company working on the production line that selected the vegetables
suitable for distribution throughout the western section of the United States.
For the next 4 years, she worked in a variety of management jobs overseeing
T.J. then worked for 7 years as a Regional Manager in Idaho,
responsible for increasing the production of vegetables on farms that Star Lite
used as sources for vegetables needed for their own vegetable production.
During her run as a Regional Manager, she was responsible for making visits to
farms to help each farm in the Safe Lite network develop a business plan. The
focus of these business plans was to help each farm develop a vision, mission,
and general operations plan to help ensure production was stable.
T.J. credits her success in that role to her ability to get local
farmers to work together instead of independently. She created a program,
Community Communications, to keep farmers up to date on farm news affecting the
region and encourage cooperative relationships. T.J.’s staff set up a blog and
website and expanded social media channels to supplement her Community
Communication initiative. These enhancements enabled the latest up-to-date
sources of information for farming-related issues and encouraged the
cooperative development of strategic goals and plans.
T.J. was promoted and has served for the past 3 years as Star Lite
Foods Vice President of the New Product Design and Marketing Department. She
proposed focusing on making quality products that can be sourced from local
vendors. She stated that once established the company could initiate a move to
being more environmentally and attentive to the well-being of consumers. T.J.
has long advocated for natural products whenever possible and the need for more
nutritious and healthy food lines. Management sees T.J. as clever and creative.
T.J. proudly stated that she likes to surround herself with good
people. T.J. indicated she likes to delegate because she feels her team of
workers needs the freedom to make decisions. She feels people produce more and
like work better without strict guidance. She is hands-off. T.J. boasted that
the team was instrumental in helping Star Lite obtain a double-digit increase
in market share.
T.J. is well-liked by her employees. She communicates what is important
and has a good sense of timing. They, at times, describe her as distant, but
when they seek her judgment or she offers an opinion, they respect it. T.J. is
very open to conversations with others and is known to be truthful and subtle.
She often indicates sheâd like to think about the issue or question before she
answers, but she always follow-ups, even if it is a day or so later. T.J. likes
people. T.J. will not tolerate employees that donât work well with others, and
she is very comfortable working with everyone.
T.J. is confident that her hard work to advance her career and
track record in various complex jobs make her capable of taking on the new
role. T.J. earned her B.A. in Business in a part-time program at a local
college in Idaho.
L.L. started Bean’s Frozen Heath 15 years ago. L.L. started Beanâs
Frozen Heath in his basement. The company distributes its products throughout
the United States and Canada. Sales are currently $360 million annually. Tasty
Products agreed to purchase Bean’s Frozen Heath. L.L.âs innovation in moving
his standard selling of freshly produced vegetarian products to local
supermarkets and specialty food stores, to frozen and pre-packaged goods where
he could market and sell throughout the US and Canada led to rapid growth —
both in terms of sales and employees, which currently exceed 250.
He was known for his charismatic leadership style and hands-on
management. Although popular with employees and managers, he was known to be
focused and driven. His primary areas of focus were strategic planning,
marketing, and product development. Employees characterized L.L.âs company as a
pleasant place to work and one where they were treated fairly.
L.L. agreed to stay in a leadership capacity with Tasty Products
for 3 years, but his exact role has yet to be determined. He thinks leading
this new division would be a good fit.
L.L.âs agreement makes accommodations for several key managers and
key employees (sales, marketing) to work for Tasty Products. Their roles have
yet to be decided, but L.L. would have a say in that. The relationship among
these key employees is informal; everyone calls each other by their first
names, and they like to talk about business and work well together. L.L.
indicated that he expects everyone to jump in when a task needs to be
L.L. often says, âThere are thinkers, and there are doers. Doers
get the job done. If we make mistakes, weâll fix them. Perfection is the enemy
of the good. And, in business, to stay ahead of the competition, taking risks
is necessary.â He sees himself as a doer and driver of others. L.L. frequently
held town hall meetings to rally the troops and communicate a vision. He is
forthright and blunt in his one on one. Often there seems to be little
reflection before he speaks.
L.L. admitted that while he depends on the people that comprise
Beanâs Frozen Health, he likes to be immersed in the business and always wants
to stay informed as to what is happening within every department. He likes to
walk around and chat with people, although he does not like to waste his time
or the time of others.
He also shared that he has limited formal educational experience
with marketing since as the company grew, he used in-house personnel and
top-of-the-line marketing firms. Still, since he has been leading Beansâ Frozen
Health through its growth stages, he could easily manage Tasty Products’ new
venture. He boasts that he is a proven innovator and entrepreneur.
As a proven innovator and entrepreneur having started and built a
large company, L.L. feels confident he is the best candidate. L.L. dropped out
of college in his senior year to pursue his business.
J.C. started his role at Tasty Products 12 years ago. Based on his
prior 18 months of experience overseeing production for a small ($1m) in annual
sales protein bar company, J.C. was hired as a production manager at Tasty
Products San Diego facility. His detail-oriented efficiency became widely known
throughout Tasty Products. For the past 4 years, he has been working for Tasty
Products as the Deputy Director of quality control and all products throughout
the U.S. and Canada. He focuses on helping ensure all-natural and organic
products are environmentally friendly and appeal to consumer price
J.C. is highly regarded within the employee ranks as a fair
manager. He applies policies and procedures in a very even-handed manner. J.C.,
at times, can be seen as distracted by the details of production and quality
and tends to get deeply involved in other areas of line operations. He has led
many committees to plan new product development and distribution but has not
yet been delegated those tasks as a recurring part of his current role. J.C.
has hired a group of highly educated employees.
J.C.âs employees comment that he seeks a lot of data before
rendering an opinion or a direction to follow. J.C. is known to be ethical and
trustworthy. He never reacts immediately to what is being said and likes to
research most things before he replies. J.C. likes to say, âthe devil is in the
He holds monthly staff meetings, but generally, these are with
specific groups on specific topics that he asked certain employees with
expertise in those areas to report on the meetings. Management places a great
deal of confidence in what J.C. suggests and recommends.
J.C. sees himself as both a manager and a mentor who focuses on
employee development. For example, J.C. provides very hands-on guidance in the
technical areas of production and quality control and expresses exactly what
heâd like to see the end product or report look like. J.C. is seen as a deep
thinker who acts when he is certain of the next step. He is known to be someone
management can rely on to solve complex technical issues. His opinions,
however, in all aspects of the company are valued by management.
J.C. admitted he does not have any marketing or sales experience.
Still, he has had a role in overseeing committees that made recommendations in
those areas, including developing the new naturally flavored protein bar line.
He has a strong desire to see the company become a leader in the protein bar
J.C. noted in his cover letter that although he has more hands-on
experience in some areas of the new Executive VP role than others, he believes,
nonetheless, he would be a good fit for the new position because he is
committed to Tasty Products. He understands the companyâs vision, mission, and
core values. J.C. stated he had demonstrated the managerial and leadership
skills to guide the team to success.
J.C. believes his proven record at Tasty Products, his engineering
background, and advanced education, as well as the respect he is accorded by
employees and management at Tasty Products, make him an ideal candidate for the
new role. J.C. has a degree in electrical engineering from Penn State and an
MBA from Wharton.
You have been asked to review the three candidate profiles and
recommend the Executive Vice President position. The new Executive VP will have
a lot of responsibility in managing and leading the new division.
Is this question part of your Assignment?
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