April 14, 2008

By Roey Gilberg

GBLC participantsLOS ANGELES - The London Business School, one of sixteen teams representing top international and domestic business and management schools, earned the grand prize of $25,000 at the inaugural Global Business Leadership Competition hosted by UCLA Anderson. The winners and other top finishers were announced Saturday, April 12, 2008. The Queen's School of Business (Toronto, Ontario, Canada) received the $10,000 second prize, while Seoul National University took home the $5,000 third prize.

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The two-day event, the brainchild of UCLA Anderson Professor David Lewin, took place Friday and Saturday, April 11-12 and consisted of a series of modules during which teams gave presentations concerning various real-life cases. Teams of four or five members arrived at Anderson from every region of the globe, representing business schools from such diverse locations as Singapore, Spain, and Israel, with several U.S. schools (including UCLA Anderson) as well.  Saturday afternoon featured the competition's main case, which required teams to focus on the dilemmas and opportunities of a post-merger scenario; specifically, FedEx Corporation's acquisition of Flying Tigers, a cargo airline in Asia.

Among the various aspects of the situation teams focused on were the problems posed by the different organizational structures of the two companies, the language barriers, how to integrate existing employees and unions, and the role of upper management in the transition. The sixteen teams gave their presentations in front of forty experienced business leaders from many different fields who judged the competition.  After listening to the presentations, as well as posing their inquiries during question-and-answer sessions, the judges selected five finalists: Queen's School of Business, London Business School,  Oxford Said Business School, Seoul National University Graduate School of Business, and the UCLA Anderson team. The winner and runner-ups were then chosen from among the five finalists.

The entirety of the event was executed by UCLA Anderson students, with Estela Wolf ('08) serving as lead student coordinator. Brian Rizkallah ('08), David Weisz ('08), Erica Wilson ('08), Jessica Wolf ('08), Michael Yuann ('08), David Zhou ('08) and Meera Damle ('09) joined Wolf on the Student Competition Planning Committee.

The event was capped off by keynote speaker Mark Zoradi ('80), president of Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Group. The first day keynote was delivered by Dr. Peggy Cherng, Co-Chair, Panda Restaurant Group Inc. and member of UCLA Anderson's Board of Visitors. 

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