The case summarizes the history of ALSTOM from its inception to the brink of bankruptcy, charting the failure of initial rescue attempts and the arrival of a new CEO who succeeds in turning around the company. ALSTOM is an example of an entity born from a spin-off of other companies, with a fast competitive need to grow or die but lacking cash, good risk management practices, and a clear strategy. The transition from a public-sector to a private-sector mentality and from a technically-oriented to a business-oriented culture are among the main challenges it faced.
Case A traces ALSTOM's history to its near-bankruptcy in 2003. CEO Patrick Kron must communicate a turnaround plan that will stave off bankruptcy, recapitalize the firm, and revitalize sales. Case B details the steps that Kron took to turn around the firm. It highlights the outstanding management challenges and discusses post-turnaround strategic options.