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How 40 CEOs Made Defining Decisions

A CEOs’ decisions can be so important that they send the company in a direction for years, and define the CEO’s career, according to Knowledge@Wharton. Harlan Steinbaum, former chairman and CEO of Medicare-Glaser, a large retail pharmacy, calls decisions such as these “defining moments.” Steinbaum shares how he made his choices at a defining moment …

A CEOs’ decisions can be so important that they send the company in a direction for years, and define the CEO’s career, according to Knowledge@Wharton. Harlan Steinbaum, former chairman and CEO of Medicare-Glaser, a large retail pharmacy, calls decisions such as these “defining moments.”

Steinbaum shares how he made his choices at a defining moment in his career. Medicare-Glaser was privately held and was growing rapidly. While considering having an IPO, they had an offer from Pet, a conglomerate, to buy back their company. “We felt that that was the answer to our growth problems because they had the resources to finance our expansion plans,” Steinbaum said. He was a group president and saw up close how decisions were being made. “They were very risk averse,” Steinbaum recalled.

Steinbaum realized that this risk aversion was not going to help the company grow. So after lots of negotiation, Medicare-Glaser re-acquired Pet through a leveraged buyout. “It was the most important decision I ever made. The result was that our company grew and prospered and we had an impact on the industry itself,” according to Steinbaum.

CEOs can let Steinbaum’s, and other CEOs’ experiences help them tackle their own dilemmas and define important moments for their companies.

For more about career-defining decisions, as reported by knowledge@wharton, please click here.

About ceo briefing - mar. 3 2011