Peter Woodson (a)

2 Pages Posted: 21 Oct 2008

See all articles by Alexander Horniman

Alexander Horniman

University of Virginia - Darden School of Business


This case series is about a set of personal decisions and actions faced by Peter Woodson. The A case presents a brief background, Woodson's career success, and issues to the end of 1989. (Follow-up cases are OB-0391 and OB-0392.)




Professor Ben Dempsey listened intently to his friend and client, and Peter Woodson was not hard to listen to, because his style of talking was quite engaging. The topic of the evening's discussion, which the two men were having during the 1989 Milford Electronics Annual Conference, was Woodson's perceptions of his 25-year career with Milford Electronics—a career that had led Woodson into the inner circle of the company's key executives.

Milford Electronics had been created by Franklin Milford, the father of the present chairman, Marshall Milford. Many considered Marshall Milford one of the most innovative and focused executives in the entire country. Milford Electronics was an industry leader in technology, innovation, and quality. The success of the company in the quality area was such that leaders of organizations around the United States visited the company on a regular basis to learn about the Milford quality process.

Milford Electronics was a privately held company, and the energies and aspirations of Marshall Milford clearly dominated company culture. Marshall Milford had been the chairman of Milford for well over 40 years. During that time, he had reinvested most of the profits of the organization into research, development, technology, and facilities. He expected competence, dedication, and loyalty from his employees. In return, they were well paid and provided with the best possible support equipment and facilities.

Peter Woodson's career had clearly been one of continuous success. He had joined Milford right out of college and, with a brief interruption for military service, had spent his entire career with the company. Woodson's personality and Marshall Milford's had meshed well, and it was not long before he became “noticed” in the company. Like others at Milford Electronics, Woodson had been moved from line to staff and back to line positions on a regular basis. He had always performed well.

. . .

Keywords: career management, decision making, midcareer issues

Suggested Citation

Horniman, Alexander, Peter Woodson (a). Darden Case No. UVA-OB-0390, Available at SSRN:

Alexander Horniman (Contact Author)

University of Virginia - Darden School of Business ( email )

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


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