Case Study

Leadership at TDC Sunrise: ''Always a smile'' or ''communication is life''?

35 pages
December 2004
Reference: IMD-4-0278

This is a leadership case based on the real-life example of a turnaround in the Swiss telecom industry. Within three years, TDC sunrise (sunrise) went from massive losses (equivalent to around 27% of sales) to respectable profit levels, a year earlier than initially anticipated. TDC, the Danish telephone incumbent, was pursuing a growth strategy. This was the largest foreign investment by any Danish company. The case describes the developments after Kim Frimer, sunrise’s CEO & president, was asked to “fix” sunrise. Frimer was a rising star within TDC “who was thrown into this job and then had to deliver.” Although Frimer had an entrepreneurial background, as well as a good understanding of the industry, his capacity to move people to action is impressive. He and his team brought accountability, discipline and focus to the organization, greatly enhanced processes and thereby improved productivity. They also seem to have been successful in pleasing customers and employees, as well as superiors in Copenhagen.

Managerial Effectiveness, Impact, Motivation, Deregulation, Transparency, Turnaround
Europe, Switzerland
1998 - 2003
Field Research
© 2004
Available Languages
Related material
Teaching note, Video
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