Brunata International A/S (A): Succession Challenges in a Family Business

Published 30 Jul 2018
Reference 6213
Region Europe
Summary

Family-owned firm Brunata, an engineering business and major player in Denmark’s heat consumption market, faces a leadership crisis after the retirement of its charismatic founder. Although his four children have worked in the company, none ultimately have the right stuff to lead, notably the eldest son who is removed by his father three years after taking over the top job. The professional manager who is subsequently appointed lasts only two years. The case includes interview material and highlights the emerging role of the board, whose external directors tried to turn the situation around.

Teaching objectives

The case offers penetrating insight into the issues of succession and professionalization of management at family-owned firms. It provides information for a lively discussion on the role of founders, owner-managers, next gens, professional managers and board members planning for the long term, as well as the distinctive hurdles that such firms face. It can be used for courses on family business, directors, leadership and negotiation.

Keywords
  • family business
  • board of directors
  • Brunata
  • Danish market
  • heat meters
  • owner-managers
  • negotiations
  • succession
  • next gens
  • CEO
  • founders
  • sibling disputes
  • professionalization
  • Denmark
  • Q41718