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Stanford Business School Publishes “NetApp and the Challenge of Global Leadership” Case Study


NetApp (NASDAQ: NTAP) today announced that the
Stanford Graduate School of Business has added a NetApp case study, “NetApp and the Challenge of Global Leadership” to its MBA curriculum. On December 2, 2008, the case study was discussed in six classes of 60 students, including participation by senior-level NetApp executives.

Professor William Barnett and his colleagues designed a new course on the global context of management, which they are teaching to all 360 first-year Stanford MBA students this term. The course develops a systematic approach for understanding the cultural, market, technological, and institutional (government/legal) challenges faced by companies doing business worldwide, and the leadership issues that arise in this regard. Near the end of the term, the professors present a few examples of world-class organizations that have done an outstanding job of dealing with the challenges of globalization. NetApp is one of those example companies.

“I selected NetApp for a case study because it is one of the best-managed companies I’ve ever known,” said William Barnett, Thomas M. Siebel Professor of Business Leadership, Strategy, and Organizations and director of the Center for Global Business and the Economy, Graduate School of Business, Stanford University. “Our students can learn a lot from studying NetApp’s business practices and innovations that have enabled the company to expand its operations globally.”

“It is a great honor for NetApp to be selected by the prestigious Stanford Business School for a case study on globalization,” said Tom Mendoza, vice chairman at NetApp. “I truly enjoyed participating in the classroom discussions of the NetApp case study and hearing the perspectives of some of the top MBAs in the world.”

The “NetApp and the Challenge of Global Leadership” case study reviews NetApp’s evolution beyond the U.S.; the strategic, organizational, and leadership challenges that came up along the way; and the challenges and opportunities that are now on the horizon. By its nature, this case is “live action,” offering some lessons from the past but also challenging the students to think about how they would deal with the issues that NetApp is dealing with today worldwide.

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