The Red-headed Stepchild
The Red-headed Stepchild
Two Weeks After BusinessWeek lauded Maytag’s remarkable success, the company broke clean from a century-old tradition. On August 12, 1999, Lloyd Ward replaced Leonard Hadley by a vote of the board of directors. Ward was the first executive never to have worked for Maytag. He had not been raised in the idiosyncratic Maytag culture. He was not even an appliance guy. Hadley had been grooming Ward for the CEO’s position since Ward came to the company as president of the home appliance division in 1996. Two internal candidates had been groomed and judged unfit for the CEO’s job; Ward was their last hope. Still, the board’s choice shocked many. Ward was anything but short on confidence though. He had wrestled a childhood of poverty and a career touched often by racism and had won. He had captained the Michigan State basketball team. He had earned a black belt in karate. He was now a star of business on the rise. When Ward became only the second African American to become a CEO at a Fortune 500 company, Black Enterprise declared it a “watershed moment.” It was easy to see why Hadley liked Ward: he brought Maytag a magnetic personality, inspirational leadership, and some badly needed diversity. Hadley said he “drooled” when he saw Ward’s resume and relished bringing in this bold, extroverted marketing man. Even before he became CEO, Ward began to revamp Maytag’s old-fashioned culture with an “unapologetically macho” leadership style. He began to shift Maytag’s focus to brand management, lower-end products, and sophisticated consumer research. Ward also brought in people from outside the appliance industry, from P&G and PepsiCo mainly. Ward’s ascendance won praise, including a fawning cover story in BusinessWeek. Joe Krejci, a Galesburg logistics manager who reported directly to Newton, was taken by Ward’s irresistible charm. Ward, still a diehard Michigan State Spartan, once came into Krejci’s office and stomped on his University of Michigan doormat with a theatrical smile. They then “shot the shit” about Big Ten football and basketball.
Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.
If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.