Monday, March 24, 2008

The Most Hated Woman in Seattle?

I'm sure that Michelle Gass is super-smart, a great wife and mother, and an overall swell human being. That said, this not-intentionally-mean WSJ profile of her suggests to me that she's probably the most hated woman inside Starbucks, and a prime example of how corporate failure snowballs.

Starbucks is in some trouble. Howard Schultz is back at the helm, and he's handed off strategic thinking to the 40-year-old Gass. Never mind that Gass is responsible for two of the company's biggest failures, the "chantico" and their pretty unappetizing breakfast sandwiches. Here's the WSJ on Gass's corporate culture paradigm shifting dribble:

At Starbucks's Seattle headquarters, Ms. Gass converted a conference space down the hall from Mr. Schultz's office into what she dubbed the "transformation room," where she huddles with other executives to hash out the new plans. Ms. Gass had the room painted red and purple with the hope it would help create an atmosphere of action.

"I'm not a traditionally trained strategist," says Ms. Gass, the company's senior vice president, global strategy, office of the CEO. "I've never worked at McKinsey or Bain."

It's like something out of those IBM ads.

Isn't this the type of promotion that drives the hive crazy and sends employees running for the exits?

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Around here, we're faaar too busy hating Schultz (former owner of the OKC Sonics) to be concerned with Ms. Gass.