Timbuk2: Former CEO Sets a Course
Making decisions is a big part of any manager’s job. Making decisions that determine the direction a company will take is the job of a CEO. Mark Dwight, former CEO of Timbuk2, a manufacturer of bicycle messenger bags, was comfortable with this role, even though it meant sometimes making unpopular decisions—-or even making mistakes. Most of the decisions Dwight made at Timbuk2 were nonprogrammed decisions—-such as the design of a new product or the type of fabric to use. These decisions can affect sales, the brand image, and even overall performance of the company. “Mark is the guy with the vision,” said marketing manager Macy Allatt. “He will drive decision making, but he’s very open to taking input from other people. When decisions need to be made, everyone sits down and we hash it out, and when we come out of the room, we feel like we’re going to make some progress.” Just about every decision Mark Dwight faced at Timbuk2 had some degree of uncertainty. He knew that he wanted Timbuk2 to achieve $25 million in sales in five years; he knew that he wanted the firm to reach new markets; he knew that the firm needed to find new distribution channels. But there was no guarantee that a single decision would be the right one.
- Would you describe Timbuk2 former CEO Mark Dwight as a charismatic leader? Why or why not?
- Does Mark Dwight possess any characteristics of a transformational leader? If so, what are they?