Case Detail

Case Summary

CDW

Case Number: 5-104-018, Year Published: 2004

HBS Number: KEL067

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Authors: Donald JacobsJ. Douglas Gray; Canh Tran

Key Concepts

Decision Making, Problem Solving, Strategy

Abstract

Through hard work, energy and leadership, charismatic CDW founder Michael Krasny built a phenomenally successful sales driven company in the early 1980s. By 1994, when CDW went public, it had grown at a compounded rate of 39 percent, increased annual profit at a 46 percent clip and had seen its shares appreciate by 4,000 percent. Krasny stepped down in 2000 with UAL’s John Edwardson succeeding him. The case involves the future of this flourishing concern. Can Edwardson continue to grow the company while maintaining its can-do culture and holding off increasingly tough competition? What does the global economy mean to CDW? What is Edwardson’s ambitious plan and can it succeed in doubling revenues to $8 billion in four years?

Number of Pages: 16

Extended Case Information

Teaching Areas: Entrepreneurship, Management, Operations, Technology

Geographic: US

Industry: Computer and Related Product Sales

Organization Name: CDW

Organization Department: Management

Organization Size: Large

Decision Maker Position: CEO

Decision Maker Gender: Male

Year of Case: 2002