Management Case20141031

Topics: Russia, Management, Moscow Pages: 21 (4840 words) Published: May 10, 2015
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REV: APRIL 23, 2012

ROSABETH MOSS KANTER
MATTHEW BIRD

Pierre Frankel in Moscow (A): Unfreezing Change
In April 2007, Pierre Frankel – the Deputy Managing Director of Russia for H-IT, a global information technology company – reviewed résumés in search of a native Russian to help him lead the subsidiary’s turnaround. A French national, Frankel considered the fact that he was engaging in such an activity in his current office as a small but notable victory since arriving three months earlier. Corporate executives had sent Frankel from the company’s headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland to Moscow, Russia in January 2007 with the difficult task of turning around a top-priority subsidiary – while not holding the top position. Days before flying to Moscow, the Deputy Managing Director of Central and Eastern Europe, who had convinced him to accept the assignment and to whom he would have reported, informed Frankel in Zurich that he had taken another position. Meanwhile, in Moscow, Sergei Lebedev – the Managing Director (MD) of Russia to whom Frankel would also report – considered Frankel a threat, as did the subsidiary’s other 450 employees. On Frankel’s first day, Lebedev assigned him a work space on a separate floor from his office. Frankel, recognizing the symbolic and practical importance of this first encounter, refused. It later took him several weeks to convince Nadia Abramova, the head of human resources who was rumored to have had a close relationship with Lebedev, to help vet and hire someone for his team. Upon accepting the assignment, Frankel made it clear that he wanted his next role to be as a regional executive, preferably in France, where his wife, also a rising manager, worked. Yet this would depend on Frankel’s performance, and nearly three months into his assignment he had yet to show tangible results. The first quarter was disappointing and second quarter figures were due soon. Sitting at his desk, with the Managing Director in the neighboring office and the still frozen Moscow River below, Frankel weighed his next steps.

The Assignment
Pierre Frankel had lofty professional aspirations – and H-IT recognized his potential by offering him high-growth positions. He studied economics and business management at a respected European university. Shortly after graduation, Frankel, having traveled as a child with his parents ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Professor Rosabeth Moss Kanter and Research Associate Matthew Bird prepared this case, with the assistance of Juan Brogeras (AMP 2009, Section 176) who provided significant contributions to concepts used in the case. Many thanks to him for his thought leadership. The company, individuals, and data in this case have been disguised. HBS cases are developed solely as the basis for class discussion. Cases are not intended to serve as endorsements, sources of primary data, or illustrations of effective or ineffective management. Copyright © 2011, 2012 President and Fellows of Harvard College. To order copies or request permission to reproduce materials, call 1-800-5457685, write Harvard Business School Publishing, Boston, MA 02163, or go to www.hbsp.harvard.edu/educators. This publication may not be digitized, photocopied, or otherwise reproduced, posted, or transmitted, without the permission of Harvard Business School.

This document is authorized for use only in SECIL BAYRAKTAR-EMBA2014 by Secil Bayraktar at Ozyegin University from September 2014 to March 2015.

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Pierre Frankel in Moscow (A): Unfreezing Change

and developed an interest in cultures and languages, embraced the opportunity to work in Switzerland for a major consulting company. He began in finance and then moved into IT. One of his clients was H-IT, who eventually hired him with the promise of rapid managerial promotion. H-IT was a worldwide provider of technology and services with a...
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