Levendary Café Essay
REV: FEBRUARY 26, 2013
CHRISTOPHER A. BARTLETT
The China Challenge
Levendary Café was spun out from private equity ownership in January 2011, and the following month, Mia Foster was named as its new CEO. The departing CEO, Howard Leventhal, was the beloved founder of the popular chain of 3,500 cafés. He had grown a small Denver soup, salad, and sandwich restaurant into a $10 billion business, but after 32 years was moving on to new interests.
This was Foster’s first job as CEO. Previously, the 47-year-old had been president of the U.S. business of a large American fast food company for seven years. She had started her career at a major global accounting firm, leaving to earn an MBA from …show more content…
On May 25, 2011, Foster stepped out of the limo that Chen had arranged to pick her up at the
Shanghai Pudong airport. Heading in to her first in-person meeting with Chen, she knew there were big decisions to be made. Indeed, they would determine the future of Levendary China.
HBS Professor Christopher A. Bartlett and writer Arar Han prepared this case solely as a basis for class discussion and not as an endorsement, a source of primary data, or an illustration of effective or ineffective management. This case, though based on real events, is fictionalized, and any resemblance to actual persons or entities is coincidental. There are some references to actual companies in the narration.
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