a) What is the precise nature of Doug Yacubian’s problem?
Some of Doug Yacubian’s difficulties as Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Captiva Corporation are the result of circumstances beyond his control, as just after he took on the position there occurred the biggest crisis in the company’s history, a massive product recall owing to incidents of food poisoning. “Since this occurred during Doug’s first week on the job, he couldn’t do much to help manage the crisis” (Galford, 1999: 3). Unfortunately, as the saying goes, first impressions last the longest and Doug’s apparent inaction during such an important crisis helped to create perceptions of him as indecisive and ineffectual in the minds of his coworkers. Another part of the problem lies with Doug’s boss, the CEO, Peter Tyler. The COO is supposed to be like a second in command, an intermediary between the CEP and the department heads like Cynthia and Ben. In the second page of the article, it is stated that Tyler became less and less interested in the day to day operations of the corporation and adopted a very hands-off approach as the company grew larger. It seems that Tyler grew a bit too much out of touch, failing to realize the long-simmering resentment that the department heads felt for Peter. It should have been easily foreseeable to an experienced CEO of a long-established company that bringing in an outsider who would be above longtime employees like Cynthia and Ben might not go over well. Employees had “great respect for his [Peter’s] judgement” (page 2), so from the start Peter should have actively tried to smooth over the issues between Doug and the department heads, because they would need to cooperate if the company was to run smoothly. Though, from Doug’s dialogue at least, there are no problems between him and Peter, it seems that the department heads had somehow gotten the idea that Doug and Peter have major issues between each other and that