Robb Fitzgerald at Comvia Networks

16 Pages Posted: 7 Apr 2010

See all articles by Robert F. Bruner

Robert F. Bruner

University of Virginia - Darden School of Business

Gerry Yemen

University of Virginia - Darden School of Business


Intended for MBA and executive education classes, this case explores the role of the CEO and the complex relationships that come with it. The story of the dramatic turnaround of this publicly-listed firm, although disguised, is true. When a scandal forces a CEO to step down, Robb Fitzgerald is hired to calm the crisis and rebuild trust among employees, shareholders, and analysts. Under extreme pressure to significantly improve the bottom line and prevent the firm from being delisted, Fitzgerald is preparing to give the board a briefing on priorities he has identified in his first 100 days. The case follows his efforts to weigh many critical decisions simultaneously.



March 5, 2010


That morning, a moment's hesitation was all it took to distract Robb Fitzgerald from his desk work at Comvia Networks, a publicly traded company in Minneapolis. Built through numerous acquisitions, Comvia offered a range of fully managed hosting, colocation, and network services through 15 data centers in the United States and Europe. As the newly appointed CEO, Fitzgerald had only until April 6, 2009—55 days—before he was due to meet with the board of directors to give his 100-day presentation.

Its history rife with scandal, the company had been on the brink of disaster in early 2009; the board brought in Fitzgerald to turn the business around, and he was worried. Six weeks at the company had revealed several important issues that needed attention. How would he address all these issues at once? Which actions were more important? What should he do first? How was he supposed to divide his time? What levers did he have to pull to get this company moving in the right direction? Many critical decisions arose simultaneously. It was up to Fitzgerald to set business priorities.

Comvia Networks

. . .

Keywords: transformation, business model, turnover, career development, management development, succession planning, employee engagement, strategic planning, restructure, reorganization, board of directors, governance

Suggested Citation

Bruner, Robert F. and Yemen, Gerry, Robb Fitzgerald at Comvia Networks. Darden Case No. UVA-OB-0996. Available at SSRN:

Robert F. Bruner (Contact Author)

University of Virginia - Darden School of Business ( email )

P.O. Box 6550
Charlottesville, VA 22906-6550
United States
434-924-3823 (Phone)
434-924-0714 (Fax)


Gerry Yemen

University of Virginia - Darden School of Business ( email )

P.O. Box 6550
Charlottesville, VA 22906-6550
United States

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