Profile: Bernard Rethore-Pump Up the Volume

By Burton, Jonathan | Chief Executive (U.S.), March 1999 | Go to article overview

Profile: Bernard Rethore-Pump Up the Volume


Burton, Jonathan, Chief Executive (U.S.)


BERNARD RETHORE

Chief Executive

FLOWSERVE

Age: 57

Family: Married, seven children

Education: B.A, Economics, Yale University, 1962; M.B.A., Wharton School, 1967.

First Postgraduate Job: Consultant, McKinsey & Co.

Outside Interests: Board member, Ballet Arizona; Trustee, Thunderbird School of International Management.

Favorite Ballet: Romeo & Juliet Operating Philosophy: "What's right" matters, not "who's right."

Oil prices are scraping the bottom of the barrel, chemicals are in the tank, and the power-plant business is dim, at best. If 80 percent of your company's revenues relied on these three sectors, how would you manage?

You might learn from Bernard Rethore, the chief executive who has the formidable assignment of putting the flow back in Flowserve, the world's largest independent industrial pump and valve producer. "Industrial works of art," Rethore gushes proudly about his products. Trouble is, economic turmoil in Southeast Asia and Latin America has rusted the industrial works of whole economies, creating a fierce headwind for this Irving, TX-based manufacturer and its facilities in 29 countries.

Flowserve's business is highly cyclical to begin with, but Rethore is confronting the worst industry conditions in years-unprecedented circumstances that are largely out of his control. Historically, petroleum and chemical prices have maintained independent orbits. But the Asian meltdown sent the value of both crashing simultaneouslydelivering a one-two punch to Flowserve's revenues and margins. Sales of $1.08 billion in 1998 were down from $1.15 billion in 1997. Net earnings slipped to $48.9 million from $51.6 million.

Now Rethore is hitting back. Once a decorated master parachutist in the U.S. Army, he's encountered tight spots before. He is battening hatches in an attempt to position the firm and its 7,000 employees for an eventual upswing. "The challenge of cyclical businesses," he says, "is to find how to maintain shareholder value through the downside and the necessary steps to really capitalize as the market comes back."

The challenge must seem a Sisyphean task, two steps forward and one step back. Still, Rethore is philosophical. "You can't control the wind, but you can learn how to adjust the sails," he explains. "We have strategic advantages that we are capitalizing on to a degree that others are not yet doing."

Size and a strong balance sheet provides ballast. Flowserve was formed through the July 1997 merger of Durco International and BW/IP, a pump company that Rethore joined as CEO in 1995. Over the past 18 months, the combination produced considerable savings from streamlined operations. Cost of capital is paramount to Rethore, who has implemented an Economic Value Added (EVA) program. "EVA is our principal measure and overarches all of senior management's long-term incentives," he says. "We need to earn more with our capital than the cost of borrowing it. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Profile: Bernard Rethore-Pump Up the Volume
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.