This case introduces Ron Snyder, CEO of Crocs, Inc., in 2007, a few years after Crocs went public on the NASDAQ in the largest shoe offering ever. Investor excitement at the time had been palpable—the company had garnered a 48% premium above its initial offer price. Since that time, the stock had grown sixfold to its high just last month, at the end of October.
Only a week ago, on November 1, the company’s stock price had plummeted, declining 36% in a single day. While Snyder did not see any reason for such a dramatic turn in a short time, he knew that the market could have a mind of its own. What concerned him was that a drop of this magnitude could make access to equity capital difficult at a time when capital was needed to fuel growth.
At that moment, his task was one of both cognition and action—he would have to understand what was driving the shift in market perception and then he would have to respond to two audiences: a disaffected and skeptical equity market and a fearful workforce. Both these audiences needed Snyder to articulate a clear strategic direction for Crocs that was based on a sound and sustainable competitive advantage. Snyder’s ability or inability to make that case could have discernable impact on the market’s valuation and the performance of its workforce.