Collapse: Q&A with former Circuit City CEO Alan Wurtzel
When a company is cruising along, earnings and share price high, every move seems like the right one, inexorably leading to success, as though it were planned that way. On a downward trajectory, every strategic shift looks disastrous—in retrospect, obviously so. Circuit City enjoyed a run as a good company before becoming a great
company, one worthy of a Jim Collins profile in his 2001 bestseller "Good to Great." And then, after fifty years in business, everything went to hell. The reason wasn’t a hostile takeover, an accounting scandal, a class-action lawsuit, or an act of God—it was, simply, that the consumer landscape shifted and Circuit City failed to keep pace, leaving room for Best Buy to become the default place for people to buy TVs and audio cables and DVD players and videogames.