In September 2001, Sulzer AG was dropped from the Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes, which is composed by the Zurich-based SAM Group. SAM justified the removal with a badly managed implant recall at a US subsidiary of Sulzer’s former medical division Sulzer Medica, which Sulzer AG had spun off in July 2001. The case illustrates the challenge of conclusively rating companies’ sustainability performance in complex strategic and/or operational situations, and the dilemma rated companies can face. The complex situation in this case results from Sulzer AG’s significant strategic reorientation to industrial activities, a hostile takeover attempt and the product recall at Sulzer Medica, in which, when the recall was launched, it had a majority interest – with the intention of selling it in the near future. Moreover, the case provokes discussion about internal and external effects of the removal from the index, and adequate reactions of Sulzer AG in the short and long term.
IMD retains all proprietary interests in its case studies and notes. Without prior written permission, IMD cases and notes may not be reproduced, used, translated, included in books or other publications, distributed in any form or by any means, stored in a database or in other retrieval systems. For additional copyright information related to case studies, please contact Case Services.
Research Information & Knowledge Hub for additional information on IMD publications