Shellye Archambeau: Becoming a CEO (A)
With the economy in a freefall, MetricStream is losing customers, hemorrhaging cash and struggling to make payroll. Several board members are threatening to quit. Others are pressing to sell the company even at dismally low valuations. It's 2008 and lightning has struck for Shellye Archambeau once again. As CEO of MetricStream, she had spent the last seven years turning a tech startup on life support after the dot-com bust into a market leader of governance, risk, and compliance software for businesses. As a black female CEO, Archambeau is no stranger to adversity. Becoming a leader had been her goal since high school and she had achieved it through decades of hard work and skillful decision making. Now she faces her most critical leadership decision. She calls a meeting with her board chairman, Gunjan Sinha, to discuss the best path forward: Sell MetricStream while offers are on the table, or try to save it by looking for a big customer of the company's risk management software against the backdrop of the financial crisis? Both options have dire consequences. Valuations are plummeting by the day. Cash is disappearing by the minute. Archambeau and Sinha need to decide and act swiftly.
- 2020 HBS
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