Top 40 Bestselling Case Authors 2017/18

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No. 10 Bestselling Case Author 2017/18

Benjamin EstyBenjamin Esty
Roy and Elizabeth Simmons Professor of Business Administration
Harvard Business School


Benjamin's top bestselling cases

CasesIridium LLC
This case is set in August 1999, just after Iridium, a global communications firm, declared bankruptcy. It describes Iridium's creation, development, commercial launch and financial performance. Using analyst forecasts, students can value the firm prior to its bankruptcy and will see how difficult it is to value technology start-ups given the uncertainty in demand.

Airbus A3XX: Developing the World’s Largest Commercial Jet (A)
In July 2000, Airbus Industries' supervisory board was on the verge of approving a $13 billion investment for the development of a new super jumbo jet known as the A3XX that would seat up to 1,000 passengers. But was there sufficient long-term demand for the A3XX to justify the investment?

Bankruptcy and Restructuring at Marvel Entertainment Group
Marvel Entertainment Group is the leading comic book publisher in the United States, with superheroes like Spider-Man, the Incredible Hulk, the X-Men, and Captain America. This case is set in late January 1997, shortly after Marvel filed its reorganisation plan with the bankruptcy court, and approximately one month before creditors will have to vote on the plan at the confirmation hearing.

Meet Benjamin

BiographyBen Esty is the Roy and Elizabeth Simmons Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School, where he teaches the introductory strategy course in the first year of the MBA programme after teaching corporate finance and project finance for more than 20 years. He has also taught a variety of executive education courses and served as the Head of the Finance Unit (department) from 2009-2014. He has received the Student Association Award for teaching excellence multiple times, the Apgar Award for teaching innovations, and the Greenhill Award for outstanding service to Harvard Business School.

Ben’s research lies at the intersection of corporate finance and corporate strategy, and focuses on the financial implications of major strategic decisions. He has written more than 140 case studies, technical notes, and teaching notes. In addition to Ben’s academic research, he has led training programmes for companies around the world on a broad range of investment, financing, strategic, and leadership issues.

Key quote

“I was thrilled to learn that my cases are being used at schools around the world. Really good cases provide lessons that transcend time, industry, and geography. I intentionally look for situations where the issues are topical and the insights are practical. I provide enough information to make the situation feel ‘real’ – but not so much information that the cases become overwhelming. I try to strike a balance so that the managerial decision remains complex and ambiguous, as it would be in real life, but that students can quickly get to the critical issues. In my opinion, it is this combination of a difficult managerial decision that is set in a rich context and one that illustrates an important concept that makes the most successful cases.

"Cases such as Airbus A3XX (strategic investment), Chase — Hong Kong Disneyland (syndicated lending), and Petrozuata (project finance) are examples of cases with important ideas that have been used broadly for many years. I think some of my newer cases, such as FANUC Corp. (Japanese corporate governance), Generating Higher Value at IBM (strategic transformation, value creation, and earnings guidance), Thomas Cook Group (financial and strategic turnaround), and De Beers (brand value and corporate scope) will also last for some time."

~ Benjamin Esty


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