The Cousin’s Tournament
A Case Study
Grandview Industries, the Blanchard family’s crown jewel and legacy since 1934 is about to enter into it’s third generation of leadership. Unfortunately the second generation leader, Al Blanchard, at age 67, has done very little preparation in planning for a successor and wants near immediate exit. The 200 million dollar company employs 2,000 people across California with distribution abroad. Morris, Al’s brother, five years younger would be a natural successor if he was a bit younger and without heart problems. Morris proclaimed to Al that it was time to hand it over to one of their sons, though he would serve as interim if Al chose to step down quickly. The two brothers decided to set up a committee to find the best successor to Grandview Industries, but because of so many unspoken family tensions and rifts, it is proving to be more difficult than anticipated.
George Blanchard- Founder of Grandview Industries in 1934, father of five with wife Molly. Grandview started as a small automotive motor component company but diversified into an array of electrical systems for both automotives and aircraft. Died at age 73, leaving son Al in charge with equal ownership among the five children
Molly Blanchard- Wife of George, mother of the five. Died one year before George.
Al Blanchard- Current CEO of Grandview Industries, age 67. Enjoys brandy and cigars. Has “had enough” of the toll of leading a 200 million dollar family business. Joined Grandview at a young age and was quickly seen as the future leader. Hardworking, tough, and affable were words people used to describe him. His younger brother was often dissatisfied with his conservative leadership style.
Morris Blanchard- Age 62, grew up with a much different style and view than his older brother and his father. He took his talents abroad to develop new customers for the company. Very energetic and had the eye of expansions and new markets. In recent years he has been getting along with Al much more and have been gaining appreciation with one another. Always wanted to be the CEO, and has always thought he would have brought the company to greater heights than Al had.
Sarah Chafee- Sister of Al and Morris, age 61. Has had a troubled relationship with the family and company due to her husband, Sam Chafee leaving the company in 1977. Was a local talk show host for some time but has since maintained a low profile. However when the story of naming a new successor arose, takes a keen interest.
Sam Chafee- The company’s controller for some time. Was successful but wanted a better role and felt like Al and Morris held him back. Al helped him find another job, but the entire situation left Sarah’s relationship with her brothers strained.
Germaine Blanchard- The second Blanchard sister. Has a son in junior management at Grandview. Understands that sister Sarah’s son Edward would be the best CEO if he was given the shot.
Arnold Blanchard- The eldest son, yet least involved in the family and the affairs of the business. Also has a son in junior management.
Peter Franklin- Owner of a large freight shipping company, college friend of Morris. Was the first family friend to be elected to the board in 1980. He becomes the chairman of the succession committee. Does a good job at seeing the whole picture and reads the family extremely well. Also cares deeply of the future of Grandview. Sees how far behind they are on the succession plans.
Joe Blanchard- Age 42, the eldest son of Al and the eldest member of the third generation. An engineer, he has been in production but has recently begun to take on a management role well. He is well liked, always performed well but is also not regarded as a strategic thinker or very charismatic. One of Peter’s standout contenders.
Bill Blanchard- Age 41,...