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Blythe was chief financial officer of BIC Group, a French company traded on the Euronext, famous for its pens, lighters, and shavers. For five years prior to joining BIC, she was senior vice president and chief financial officer of Hannaford Bros. She has also served as chief administrative officer — Pacific Rim for Sara Lee Corporation where she had responsibility for growing the business through acquisitions, improving the Information Technology and finance processes, and hiring leaders in Asia and South America.

Blythe is a certified public accountant. Kellogg Graduate School of Management, which selected her for the Schaffner Award in , presented annually to an alumnus who is preeminent in his or her field and who provided outstanding service to Kellogg. Member Log In. Board Director and Financial Expert. As she rolled her neck, wincing, she heard voices in the hallway outside her office.

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You can bet on that. Just need to grab Shirley for a minute. I think you made your position on Plastiwear quite clear—again.


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But I understand your reluctance to wade into the unknown. And not just inside these walls. And maybe they could take us over and pull it off. But at what cost? Everyone is already working flat out to get GreenPlastics off the ground—and doing amazingly well, I might add. Preorders are already in the tens of millions, and we make even more if we deliver early. Do we really want to divert our people, our time, and our money away from these projects?

Scott rose and moved to the door. Good night. As always, he was relying on her to give him levelheaded, rigorous analysis, to vet the due diligence, and to clearly articulate the different points of view.


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  • She was fair and balanced, without any agenda except the financial health of the company. Sometimes, of course, the answer to a question was so obvious that presenting the facts was tantamount to making a recommendation. Shirley shook her head as she tossed her laptop, BlackBerry, and files into her oversize handbag. If she hurried, she would just make the train.


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    When she returned, they were eager to draw her in. As Walter paused to sip his coffee, Jerry nodded and chimed in.

    Shaking the Globe: Courageous Decision-Making in a Changing World

    Even with a much tougher hurdle rate and a higher initial investment, the payoff is terrific. Shirley smiled. A few years ago she would have rolled her eyes at the lab-geek enthusiasm. But these guys knew what they were talking about. I want to hear more about the commercialization process. We have a winning formula, and the prototypes are terrific. Jerry glanced at his watch. Of course, you know that Scott Beckett has concerns about our managing an apparel business. He projects substantial losses if we go down the path you suggest.

    Blythe McGarvie

    Walter gave her a patient smile. We stumbled upon this fiber, and it really is near perfect, with so many possibilities for us. Imagine stainproof shirts that look as good as anything you get at Thomas Pink. Imagine indestructible canvas tents.

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    But I hope you and Carl understand how important this could be for us. However, if we make a public announcement of a revised dividend policy, an acquisition in one of our core areas, or a large near-term investment decision, they might back off a bit. We could also quickly sell off the rights to Plastiwear or jump into a joint venture. She left the room last, walking slowly and thinking about Plastiwear.

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    Deciding what to do was complicated enough, with some of the most powerful people at HGS making strong, albeit self-interested, cases on both sides of the argument. Back in her office, she sat down at her computer and began typing out a neutral executive summary page. After a minute she stopped. Was her usual impartial approach really adequate in these circumstances?

    Shaking the Globe: Courageous Decision-Making in a Changing World

    All the outcomes profit, loss, breakeven were feasible. This was a difficult strategic decision, fraught with political risks. Supporting either faction would mean alienating the other, perhaps irreparably damaging relationships and, as a result, limiting her career options at HGS. Besides, even if she did offer Carl advice, there was no guarantee he would take it.