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Crisis at MIAM Group

Summary

Crisis at MIAM Group is a fictional board simulation about a global European food company in crisis. It is designed to be used in groups of about nine participants, each playing a gender-neutral role for which an individual, detailed description is provided.* The crisis in question has come to a head following the intervention of two groups of activist investors. They are requesting the removal of the star CEO-Chair, Dominique Messi, and for the separation of the two leadership roles. Their main complaint is that the company has been underperforming, compared to its competitors during a recent global pandemic. However, the situation is complicated by the fact that Messi is a champion of sustainability and has positioned the company as an ESG pioneer. The way forward is further complicated by the composition of the board. This includes the former CEO (whose mother effectively founded the company), a disaffected former COO (who was once rumoured to be Messi’s chosen successor), a brand new Lead Indepdent Director (who is now the activist investors’ proposed replacement as chair), and an array of other characters with varying personal or professional motivations for supporting or undermining Messi. The board must now meet to (a) decide how to react to the requests of the activist investors and (b) draft notes for a press release communicating the decision(s) taken. *If preferred, the case can be used without the nine individual role descriptions. It could also be adapted for use in smaller groups by “absenting” one or more board members or in larger groups by including a “new” board member.

Teaching objectives

From the perspective of a board: Managing and governing in a crisis Dealing with activist investors Handling a “problem CEO”, who also happens to occupy the chair

Keywords
  • Leadership
  • Corporate Governance
  • Board Meeting
  • Board Simulation
  • Crisis Management
  • Pandemic
  • Food Industry
  • Sustainability
  • ESG
  • Activist Investors
  • Chair-CEO
  • Board Composition
  • Lead Independent Director
  • Dysfunctional Board
  • Q22022