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Leadership Change in Gene One Essay

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Updated: Dec 28th, 2021

The aim of this assignment is to document a fictional leadership transition at one of America’s most respected names in the Biotech industry – Gene One. The company started operations in 1997 and today, is considered a market leader in its field. The company has a series of patents in molecular research which find applications in a wide variety of fields including agriculture, industry, space exploration, medicine and human genetics. In this case, some of our team members are siblings of the late Don Ruiz who took Gene One to its present heights, with revenues over $400 million and worldwide market presence.

For any organization worth its salt, good leadership is the number one cementing force that leads to its success (Robbins & Judge, 2007, p.21). The success or failure of business transition hinges on the ability of the leaders to help the team unleash its full potential, and achieve its future goals after a leadership gap comes into picture (Robbins & Judge, 2007, p.21). In the case of Gene One, Don Ruiz has left a legacy of creating new business opportunities where none existed.

For example, in marking Asia-Pacific operations, the CEO undertook the personal responsibility to understand the demands of the target business segment and came with a novel decision to hire two Asian technocrats, Mr. John Lee and Mr. Kwasikaju Momu. Clearly, this is a case of leadership by example which has become part of the organization’s overall culture. Today, the Asia-Pacific region contributes nearly 50% to Gene One’s worldwide revenues.

While performing our case, we felt that it is important to ensure that the new management carries on the same legacy as left by Don Ruiz, continuing in his leadership style. In order to do so, we had to focus our future objectives to replicate Ruiz’s working environment.

Core Objective: In order to continue with leadership turnover at Gene One, we started defining our core objectives for the immediate future. As it turned out, the company, listed in NYSE, was looking forward to an Initial Public Offering (IPO) in order to finance its expansion plans into Europe. We could see clearly that the leader at the helm of affairs needed to have some background in finance to ensure we meet our objective.

The team: Accordingly, Karen Ruiz, who was so far, the CFO of the organization, was made to don the mantle of CEO as well. Karen has a double Master’s degree in Accounting and Investment Finance from prestigious B-schools and over 14 years experience in core operations at Gene One. Moreover, she’s well-familiar with the entire product and marketing operations of the company.

Karen has also maintained liaisons with the company’s partners, investors and media and has the right set of skills and aptitude which would enable us to succeed in meeting our future business objectives. In order to Karen is assisted by an entire team of board of directors as listed down below.

I was appointed as VP-Marketing because of my close experience in working with Don Ruiz, especially during our project activity which led to expansion in the Asia-Pacific environment. In addition, I was given the responsibility to assist the sales team in identifying new leads, targeting partners and customers, and driving the overall business strategy of the product team. Since, I had 7-8 years experience in guiding the company’s marketing vision as a marketing manager, the new role aptly fitted my responsibilities arena.

Pedro Ruiz, the son of Don, was known for his charismatic working style and close collaboration with almost everyone on board at our company. Due to his extrovert nature and his ability to finish projects on time, he was appointed VP – Product Management. Clearly, we were looking for someone who knew how to ensure our everyday working operations remained as smooth as before (Mitzberg, Lampel, Quinn and Ghoshal, 2003, p.234).

Pedro was also appointed the overall head of the company’s worldwide product management functions. This involved liaison with the who’s who of the company’s worldwide R&D team. Pedro also has a technological degree under his belt from MIT, which will be all that important in his current role at Gene One which demands a steady mix of business acumen with technical grasp (Yukl, 2006, p.23).

In addition to the above leadership combination, we appointed Mr. John Lee and Mr. Kwasikaju Momu as VP-s for New Business Development as Gene One would continue to look to Asia for its immediate business future for quite some time. The Asian gentlemen bring a newly-found diversity into Gene One’s hitherto, Caucasian leadership. Since, they are well-familiar with the cultural nuances of the rich Asian economies such as China and Japan including languages, we have been able to form a cross-cultural leadership team which is primarily geared towards future growth (Yukl, 2006, p.132).

Finally, Gene One also has appointed a new bunch of technical personnel in its team of board of directors, a total seven of them. Some have advanced degrees in engineering and biotechnology. Others bring new knowledge pools due to their legal familiarity with the business of patent research. It must be kept in mind since Gene One is a biotechnology firm, we face the largest number of legal disputes in matters related to patents for various products, and their clinical trials. T

The company also has two external auditors and government-appointed officials in its team of board of directors. Once the entire leadership set-up was completed, we began to look out for ways to ensure our business goals were met in future.

The new leadership culture and vision statements: Once the new leadership emerged in a formal way, our immediate priority was to lend new direction to the team so that our present business objectives were met. Karen, the new CEO of Gene One, has started exemplifying all the values of a good leadership right from day one. She is replete with dynamic assertiveness, empathy, enthusiasm and is perfectly capable of bold strategic decisions (Yukl, 2006, p.231). However, she’s lacking a bit as far as imagination and creativity is concerned.

Karen tends to be over-analytical and has a conservative approach to solving problems, which sometimes stands in the way of true progress. In order to ensure we get the best deal out of her, we have appointed Pedro as her role mentor since we could benefit from his spontaneous working style (Yukl, 2006, p.174).

A successful leadership team is one that identifies individuals with the requisite qualities and assigns them a particular situation or a subject (Mitzberg, Lampel, Quinn and Ghoshal, 2003, p.23). I feel in that regard we have been able to somewhat meet our objectives. The next task which lied in our hands was to derive a means by which we would become close to our objective of having Gene One listed as an IPO at NYSE.

In order to achieve the above objective , Pedro who is very creative and ingenious with new ideas, suggested an open-ended survey for all 13 members of the board. Responses to those survey questions will ensure that Gene One’s end vision is met, and we’re able to get some bold insights which will be implemented for the purpose of meeting our goals. Some of the survey questions are outlined as below. Also, an explanation has been provided about the need to verify whether or not there is a real need to have an IPO formed in the near future. The company has almost a total consensus for greater goals for expansion, so before the next round of meeting, the survey would give a helpful insight into the present situation.

Survey Questions: The survey questions conceived by Pedro are open-ended with the choice set of Yes/No and Maybe responses. Any future opinion on the issue of proceeding with IPOs will commence based on these responses. Accordingly, the survey dealt with the realistic problems encountered in business expansion and how to solve them. Here are the survey questions that have been framed for our present objectives.

  1. Do you think the company should withdraw money from the market in a slated time period of six-eight months?
  2. What should be the alternative if the expected sum is not realized through IPO offerings? Do you have any other ideas to get the requisite amount?
  3. Should we get in touch with angel investors to drive the company’s future?
  4. Should we go for external borrowings from banks and credit agencies?

So far, each and every possible alternative to the IPO question has been covered in this survey. Since, there are a total of 13 respondents to this set of questions, it will be easy to get a first-hand glimpse on where the future direction for Gene One lies. These questions cover the entire gamut of activities which can lead to a tangible IPO acquisition through the company’s own internal efforts.

Once the data has been collected, I and Pedro aim to sit together to formulate a presentation which will be shown to our CEO, Karen. With her final inputs, we will conduct a new presentation which will be shown to our team of directors in a focused meeting. Finally, once all the ideas have been put on the table, we will work towards reaching a general strategy which would help us finance the current expansion plans.

The aim behind formulating the above set of survey questions was to ensure the current leadership gets required insight to reach our IPO acquisition objective and to evolve a strategic leadership culture post the exit of Don Ruiz.

In Summary: In this paper, we have seen how a new leadership style has emerged in the Gene One Corporation following the unfortunate death of its CEO, Mr. Don Ruiz. From the beginning rudiments, we have been able to formulate a macro plan which would comprise of taking the help of the current pool of people at the helm of affairs of the company, and lead it towards its present success goals. We also wanted to follow the leadership style of Don Ruiz who was known to lead by example. Our current leader, Karen was chosen on the fact that she has a wealth of experience regarding the business operations of this company which goes unrivaled so far.

Pedro Ruiz was selected based on the fresh insights he brings due to his creative ability. It is after all the creative sparks that lead to newer, bolder ideas. We also included the service of two Asian technocrats, Mr. John Lee and Mr. Kwasikaju Momu to help in the company’s current expansion plans in the Asia-Pacific region which is a significant contributor in terms of revenues. Finally, in order to close in on our goals of meeting an IPO, we came through an open-ended survey.


  1. Mintzberg, H., Lampel, J., Quinn, J. B., & Ghoshal, S. (2003). The strategy process: Concepts, Contexts, Cases (4th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.
  2. Robbins, S. P., & Judge, T. A. (2007). Organizational Behavior (12th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education.
  3. Yukl, G. (2006). Leadership in Organizations (6th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education.
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