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Good to Great to Gone: The 60 Year Rise and Fall of Circuit City

Wurtzel, Alan L.

108 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 1938120116 / ISBN 13: 9781938120114
Published by Diversion Publishing, 2012
Condition: Collectible: Like New Hardcover
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Bibliographic Details

Title: Good to Great to Gone: The 60 Year Rise and ...

Publisher: Diversion Publishing

Publication Date: 2012

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:Collectible: Like New

Signed: Signed

About this title


How did Circuit City go from a Mom and Pop store with a mere $13,000 investment, to the best performing Fortune 500 Company for any 15-year period between 1965 and 1995, to bankruptcy and liquidation in 2009? What must leaders do not only to take a business from good to great, but to avoid plummeting from great to gone in a constantly evolving marketplace?

Alan Wurtzel, son of Circuit City founder Sam Wurtzel, took over as CEO in 1972 and implemented a successful long term strategy that simplified the company by unloading unsuccessful acquisitions, expanded the few winning divisions, and preserved the distinct employee culture his father created, positioning the company for unprecedented success. For almost 50 years, Circuit City was able to successfully navigate the constant changes in the consumer electronics marketplace and meet consumer demand and taste preferences. But with the subsequent decline and ultimate demise of Circuit City in 2009, Wurtzel had the rare perspective of a former company insider in the role of an outsider looking in.

Believing that there is no singular formula for strategy, Wurtzel emphasizes the Habits of Mind” that influence critical management decisions. With key takeaways at the end of each chapter, Wurtzel offers advice and guidance to ensure any business stays on track, even in the wake of disruption, a changing consumer landscape, and new competitors.

Part social history, part cautionary tale, and part business strategy guide, Good to Great to Gone: The 60 Year Rise and Fall of Circuit City features a memorable story with critical leadership lessons.

About the Author:

Former CEO of Circuit City Stores, Alan Wurtzel led Circuit City to be one of the nation’s largest retailers of consumer electronics and appliances. He joined the company in 1966 as Vice President of Legal Affairs, served as CEO from 1972 to 1986. He was Chairman of the Board from 1984 to 1994 and Vice-Chairman from 1994 to 2001. Circuit City was profiled as one of 11 companies in Jim Collins’ bestselling book, Good to Great.

Since retiring from Circuit City, Wurtzel has split his time between for profit and not for profit activities. Early on, much of his time was devoted to higher education and K-12 educational reform. He’s served as a trustee of Virginia Commonwealth University, a member of the Virginia Board of Education and the State Council for Higher Education. He was also a director of several not-for-profit standards-based education policy organizations including New American Schools, National Center of Education and the Economy, and the Council for Basic Education. As a member of Virginia’s State Board of Education, he actively participated in the formulation and adoption of the current Standards of Learning program.

In the private sector, Wurtzel served as Director of Dollar Tree Stores, Inc., and from 1989 to 1996, he served on the Board of Office Depot. He has been an active investor in startup companies and remains on the Board of two privately held companies.

Currently Wurtzel is a trustee of The Phillips Collection, where he has been active in developing and spearheading its expansion and investment plans, and the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, an environmental group dedicated to saving the Bay and his alma mater, Oberlin College.

Wurtzel received a B.A. from Oberlin College and a J.D. from Yale Law School. He is married to the playwright, Irene Rosenberg Wurtzel, and has three grown children. He lives in Washington, D.C. and Delaplane, Virginia.

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