The Tylenol Recall

The Tylenol Recall

In this episode of “What Just Happened?,” hosts Kate Hartley and Tamara Littleton, with special guest Jonathan Hemus, discuss the 1982 Tylenol murders in Chicago, where seven people died after ingesting cyanide-laced Tylenol capsules. The crisis placed Johnson & Johnson at the centre of a murder investigation, severely impacting brand trust.

CEO James Burke made the unprecedented decision to recall 31 million bottles of Tylenol, costing over $100 million. This action, guided by the company’s credo prioritising customer safety, helped restore consumer trust.

In the show we look at the importance of strategic intent and strong organisational values in crisis management, and we discuss how strategic intent provides a vision of success, aiding decision-making and prioritisation during crises. We also look at how deeply embedded values enable effective crisis responses and strengthen organisational resilience and employee loyalty.

A full transcript of today’s show is available to read here.

What Just Happened? Introduction
United Airlines Passenger Removal


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