Chief Executive (U.S.)

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Articles from No. 111, March

A Death Knell for "Knowledge Workers"?
A short time ago, The Wall Street Journal published a list of the 10 most deadly management euphemisms currently in use. These included the dreaded terms "paradigm shift," "statement of mission," "value-added," and "knowledge worker," but also included...
A 'Litmus Test' for Asia: Jeffrey Garten
The years Jeffrey Garten lived in Tokyo as a Lehman Brothers investment banker helped him to deal with Japan as the U.S. Undersecretary of Commerce for International Trade. Not that it was any easier, especially with Washington and Tokyo in a less-than-brotherly...
A Model of Convenience
For John Antioco, there's nothing easy about convenience. Antioco is the 46year-old chairman, president, and CEO of Phoenix-based Circle K, the country's second-largest chain of convenience stores, with 2,500 company-owned outlets in 28 states. Like...
An Iconoclast in a Cutthroat World
Sometimes growth isn't limited by capital, technology, or access to markets. It's more fundamental. To Gillette's Al Zeien, it's about reinforcing a global management culture.Writing a review of a biography on Warren Buffett in a recent Harvard Business...
Banking on Regionals
The recent rout in techTnologv stocks set timorous investors reeling. Even the sage and savvy scurried for the tried-and-true: Blue chips with solid earnings headed the buy list. Financial-services companies were a close runner-up, particularly regional...
Beyond E-Mail
Your electronic mailbox overflows with messages that don't pertain to your job, aren't your responsibility, and don't add value to your life. Does a retailer's accountant or CEO-need to see a memo that applies only to cashiers? Whatever happened to operating...
Breaking China: Jay Chai
Jay Chai is atypical of executives of major Japanese businesses. Korean-born, he is an American citizen and has never lived in Japan. But he's worked for Itochu, formerly C. Itoh & Co., the largest of the nine giant Japanese trading houses, since...
Buffett: The Making of an American Capitalist by Roger Lowenstein
BUFFETT: THE MAKING OF AN AMERICAN CAPITALIST By Roger Lowenstein. Random House, 473 pp., $27.50.Who is the richest man in Nebraska, and maybe the second richest man in America? Everybody knows his name: Warren Buffett, a.k.a. the "Oracle of Omaha."...
CyberCongress
PETE: Welcome to the Microsoft Network Chatroom.STAFFER: Thank you, Mr. du Pont. I'm a staffer for a U.S. senator.PETE: I'm glad to see you've entered the cyberworld. While you're online, tell me how many of your colleagues on Capitol Hill use the Internet...
End of an Empire
It was front-page news in the U.K. last month when Lord Hanson-who built Hanson PLC into a major conglomerate over the last 30 years-announced that the behemoth would demerge into four separate companies, specializing in tobacco, energy, building materials,...
Experiment for Success
In a laboratory, two chemists working with the exact same ingredients can concoct two materially different potions. But James Mack is no mad scientist. Mack, who in April will complete his first year as chief executive of Cambrex Corp., has mixed a successful...
FAS 123: Boon or Boondoggle?
You can't sidestep the latest FASB accounting rule on stock-based compensation. So turn on your computer and start figuring on disclosing more of your company's finanical information.About 40 percent of American companies link pay to performance via...
Is America Ready for a New Japan?
WILL 1996 BE YET ANOTHER SHOWDOWN AT THE O.K. CORRAL BETWEEN THE U.S. AND JAPAN? OR WILL THE ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL TURMOIL IN JAPAN HELP SMOOTH TRADE RELATIONS BETWEEN THE WORLD'S TWO LARGEST ECONOMIC SUPERPOWERS?BY SUMMER, THE U.S. AND JAPAN will square...
Learning from Experience
Could it be that the long-running mainstays of performance improvement-TQM, re-engineering, benchmarking-have peaked? Lost their punch? Been eclipsed? Have executives moved on in search of new-and improvedways to solve their problems?While it's clear...
Learning from the Customer
Competitiveness demands that every company get as close as possible to its customers. The problem is that markets move too quickly for all decisions to be bucked to the top. Employees must grasp the importance of changing conditions and act immediately....
Lesson No. 1: Learning from the Customer
When Continental Airlines eliminated first-class service on one-third of its domestic routes in June 1994, plenty of top-dollar travelers-who filled 20 percent of the seats but brought in 40 percent of revenue-sent angry letters. And, as CEO Gordon Bethune...
Lesson No. 2: Unlearning from the Customer
Dear Apple Customers," began the letter from then-Chief Executive Michael Spindler. The full-page mea culpa ran in The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times in late January, as consumer, investor, and supplier confidence in Apple Computer rotted...
Lesson No. 3: Nothing to Learn
Many have heard the horror story of the customer who demanded that Starbucks Coffee fund a runaway youth center and publish a two-page apology in The Wall Street Journal in recompense for selling him two allegedly defective espresso machines last April.But...
Passing the Torch at Big Steel
When what was then the Nuclear Corp. of America moved into steelmaking in the late 1960s, success was hardly a cinch. In pouring the first batch of steel into a mold at a plant in Darlington, SC, a defect in the process caused molten metal to spill on...
Plugged In.And Ready to Prosper
As emerging markets modernize and become globally competitive, they are rife with investment opportunities. But few industries in the developing world offer as much potential for growth as telecommunications. Many countries now are privatizing and modernizing...
Spy Master by Leslie Colitt
SPY MASTER By Leslie Colitt. AddisonWesley Publishing, 302 pp., $23.Markus Wolf is a legMendary figure in the niche theater of international espionage. He performed brilliantly on behalf of communist East Germany as it struggled but failed to achieve...
The Decline of the Audit Committee
The Audit Committee used to be the most important and popular board committee. The best, most experienced directors were assigned to it, and many vital issues were discussed at its meetings. No more. The Audit Committee has become Dullsville. Predominantly...
The Skinny on Lean and Mean
Some time long ago, at lunch in Boston, Peter F. Drucker, the grand old man of business thinking, outlined his vision of the future. In it, he said, companies would outsource everything they now consider "support," or overhead. The bits of the company...
Turn Down the Volume: Carla Hills
As the U.S. Trade Representative during the Bush Administration, Carla Hills had her share of trade scuffles. Now chairman and CEO of Hills & Co., a Washington, DC-based international consulting group, she is a staunch critic of U.S. trade policy...
Untangling the Bureaucracy: Donald Fites
Caterpillar Chairman and CEO Donald Fites' many years of international business experience include a stint in Tokyo for Caterpillar's joint-venture with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, its partner since 1963. Fites now chairs the U.S.-Japan Business Council,...
Who's Afraid of Free Trade?
Both this issue's cover story on Gillette and our feature on the delicate future of U.S. trade relations with Japan highlight how much an interdependent world economy is taken for granted today. More than 70 percent of Gillette's revenue and profits...
Who's Running the Show?
Though fans typically view sports teams as exotica that aren't structured like conventional businesses, most have a familiar hierarchy, including a complement of senior executives and a board of directors. But teams can differ depending on how much operating...
You Can't Tell the Issues without a Scorecard
Why does the sports business seek a planned, protected environment? The quality of athletic competition between teams is highly dependent on the degree of business cooperation achieved among them, points out Arthur Zabarkes, director of the Real Estate...