This case was prepared by Katherine A. Auer of (he lndlOno University and Alan N. Hoffman of Bentley College. Ben & Jerry's Grows Up -Boston Globe
Ben, Jerry Losing Their Values
Ben & Jerry's Melting Social Charter
The headlines said i( all. Ben & Jerry's, the company that had built its success as much on its down-home image and folksy idealism as on its superrich ice cream, was at a crossroads. Having been started in 1978 in a renovated Verll1tlnt gas station by childhood friends Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, the unconventional company soon grew into a $140million powerhouse that was rivaled only by HaagenThis case ISIntended to be used as a basis for class dIScussion rather than a.san illustration of either effective or ineffeCtive handling of the situation Tltis case was prepared by Kathenne A Auer, Ind,ana UniverSIty and Alan N Hoffman, Bentley Col· lege Used by permission Reprinted by perrmssion of Alan N Hoffman, Bentley College
Dazs in the superpremium ice-cream market. With ils many donations and policies promoting corporate responsibility, Ben & Jerry's lOok great pride in its success combining social activism with fU1anciai Viability. However, in mid 1994 the outlook was not so rosy. Sales were flat, profits were down, and the company's stock price had fallen to half what it was at the end of 1992. In its 1993 annual report, Ben & Jerry's admitted that some flavors of its "all natural" ice cream included ingredients that were not, in fact,; all natural. Furthermore, staffers within the company. reportedly criticized it for lack of leadership., On June 13, 1994, Ben & Jerry's announced that,' Ben was stepping down as CEO and that it would';
abandon its long-time cap on executive salaries in order to help it find a new one. The message was clear: Ben & jerry's was no longer the company it , once was. For many, the question then was, what...