Reference no: EM132136109
Johnson & Johnson and Crisis Management: Comparison of Two Leaders in Two Crises
Crisis management communications is a critical skill for corporate leaders. Failure during crisis management may result in serious harm to the company and in some cases can lead to the exit of the firm from the industry. Successful crisis management may result in little or no damage to a company’s reputation in the industry. This case study will review the crisis management communication strategies of two CEOs at different times in a single company’s history.
Leadership in 1982 Crisis
When the Tylenol crisis happened in 1982, Burke directed the removal of 31 million bottles of Tylenol products valued at more than $100 million from store shelves (Kaplan). Burke took the lead role for all communications relating to the crisis. As the CEO, he was the face and spokesperson for Johnson & Johnson, providing leadership through the crisis. Burke appeared on the U.S. television news program, 60 Minutes, and allowed cameras to be present during strategy sessions (Yang). Burke did not delegate the responsibility of communication to a company spokesperson or division head (Prokesch). Multiple case studies, many through Harvard Business School, detail the way Johnson & Johnson and its leaders handled the crisis.
Leadership Now Crisis
Under Weldon, the company recalled more than 50 products during a 15-month period between 2009 and 2011. The product recalls spanned various subsidiaries, including products such as Motrin, Tylenol, Children’s Tylenol products, Rolaids, and Benadryl from the consumer products division of McNeil Consumer Health Care, the same subsidiary that was so successful with crisis management during the 1982 Tylenol crisis. The quality issues were so severe, with potential for adverse effects to the general public, that in July 2010 the FDA required action on the part of McNeil to address the quality issues at various manufacturing plants. The company submitted a remediation plan for McNeil to the FDA, and in March 2011 the FDA expanded oversight at three plants for McNeil, due to the company’s failure to make significant improvements in quality.
Compare and contrast the leadership strategies used by Burke and Weldon: What changes could have been made by either CEO to improve the situation he faced?
Compare and contrast the communication strategies used by Burke and Weldon. What changes could have been made by either CEO to improve the situation he faced?
Compare and contrast the crisis management strategies used by Johnson & Johnson in the two situations.