Business Intelligence

Sam Zell: 'Exert Control' For Winning Turnaround Battle

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Executive Summary

Complex strategies may be good for PhD candidates, but they are disastrous for business. Better to "Know what you got, know what you need and get rid of everything else," the author said. The recommendation appears to have served Zell well during a long career that included the 2007 sale of his Equity Office Properties Trust to the Blackstone Group for $39 billion - at the time, the largest leveraged buyout ever. Among the hurdles facing would-be turnaround artists are organizational challenges, including broken hierarchies that tend to diffuse or obscure responsibility, precisely the opposite of what is needed to rescue a floundering enterprise.

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