Business Case: 4 The Rise And Fall Of Sears

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Register to read the introduction… In November 2003 the government accused Sears of “communicating directly and indirectly with Darleen Druyun about future employment when she had not disqualified herself from acting in her official government capacity on matters involving Boeing.” The government went on to state that the pair had attempted to conceal this infraction from company lawyers investigating the matter. It was also alleged that Druyun broke the law by telling Boeing employees confidential information about how Airbus had priced its bid for the tanker contract. Boeing fired Mike Sears immediately, and ultimately both he and Druyun pleaded guilty to criminal wrongdoing and faced jail …show more content…
Within a month Condit had resigned from the CEO position, a victim of the fallout from the scandal, which resulted in the loss of the military tanker contract. Condit was replaced by Harry Stonecipher, who came out of retirement to take the CEO position. However, in another disturbing power play at Boeing, Stonecipher was himself forced to step down after a leaked e-mail message revealed that he had initiated an extramarital affair with an employee at Boeing. Fearing that Boeing was becoming mired in scandal after scandal, the board of directors asked for Stonecipher’s resignation. He was replaced by Jim McNeary, the CEO of 3M.


1. From a power perspective, what do you think explains the rise of Mike Sears to the CEO position at Boeing? What were the sources of his power? Once he became CFO, what did Mike Sears do to consolidate his power base at Boeing? What sources of power was he trying to accumulate? What was he trying to do with this power? 2. What do you think about the ethics of Sear’s actions? Does the fall of Mike Sears prove that power tends to corrupt? 3. What does the case tell you about the nature of internal organizational politics at Boeing during this period? As incoming CEO, would you see this as a problem? If so, how would you deal with it? 4. Do you think that power is more

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