Résumé Padding and Corporate Governance Failure at Samsonite

Résumé Padding and Corporate Governance Failure at Samsonite

  • Case
  • Teaching Notes

This case reviews the June 2018 exit of Ramesh Tainwala as CEO of Samsonite, the global leader in the manufacture and sale of suitcases and luggage. It was not clear if Tainwala resigned for résumé padding (i.e. falsifying educational qualifications) or corporate governance issues raised by a short seller, Blue Orca Capital. Blue Orca accused Tainwala of falsifying education qualifications and other inappropriate related party transactions his family-owned companies had with Samsonite, which Tainwala denied. The short seller also accused Samsonite of inappropriate governance practices during the acquisition of the Tumi brand in 2016, which resulted in Samsonite’s overvaluation. Samsonite, nevertheless, showed confidence in the capabilities of Tainwala and accused Blue Orca of presenting a one-sided picture for its own gains. This case encourages students to discuss to what extent résumé padding is illegal versus being a questionable issue, and whether competent CEOs should be let go for such an issue. Students are also encouraged to discuss whether Blue Orca accused Samsonite for its own short-term gains. More broadly, the case prompts students to consider what an organization should do to pacify investors who are sensitive to any negative news associated with a company.

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