Chief Executive (U.S.)

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Articles from No. 107, October

Affairs of Dishonor
Something's rotten in the state of France. Les affaires, as the French press has benignly dubbed 18 months of scandals, have reached the highest ranks of the French business establishment. Even before the strange case of Didier Pineau-Valencienne, France...
A Passionless Packard
THE HP WAY: How Bill Hewlett and I Built Our Company By David Packard. Edited by David Kirby with Karen Lewis. Harper Business, 212 pp., $17.Hewlett-Packard is arguably one of the world's best and most admired companies. "The HP Way" is a chronicle of...
Be Prepared
A tiny flaw in a computer chip sends Intel reeling. Poisoned Tylenol pills threaten Johnson & Johnson's credibility. Chevron finds trouble on a major oil project in a remote region of the former Soviet Union. Gas company Enron Corp. sees an Indian...
Brennan: From Architect to Deconstructionist
When Ed Brennan, 61, Sears' chairman and CEO, announced in November 1994 that he intended to retire within a year, he didn't go quietly. Instead, he coupled his announcement with another that effectively split Sears, Roebuck and Co.'s $33 billion core...
Captain Crunch
Ask Arthur C. Martinez, the new chairman and chief executive of Sears, Roebuck and Co., any question that involves hard data--market share, projected sales, return on equity--and the engineer in him bubbles to the surface. He grins. He puts his hands...
CE Roundtable - beyond Derivatives: What's Driving Today's Business Risks?
The nature and consequence of business risk that organizations face are becoming increasingly complex. The rapidity of change, the intensity of competition, and the impact of technological change tend to overwhelm organizations, often leaving CEOs unprepared....
Checking the Corporate Crystal Ball
The fund manager in question is a down-home, ten-to-the-ninth man, which means his broad-based fund has more than $1 billion under management. I have known him for years. When this fellow calls on CEOs and CFOs, they always put on a good show. He--and...
Communicating in the Magic Kingdom
Holding a mug of tea, Marc Porat pads in stocking feet around his in-laws' UN Plaza apartment with a postcard view of the East River. The chairman and CEO of software start-up General Magic apologizes for sleepy hazel eyes and a gravelly voice, citing...
Copper King
It might have been more apt had Magma Copper set up shop in Phoenix--rather an Tucson--Arizona. Like the bird of Greek legend, Magma has risen from the ashes, this year posting record earnings and cash flow. Indeed, when Denver-based Newmont Mining spun...
Derivatives: Put Them to the Stress Test
Spectacular corporate losses from bad derivatives trades have sullied the "D-word." No one wants to be the next Procter & Gamble, which lost $157 million before taxes from interest-rate plays that went sour when rates soared in 1994. And on the sell...
Europe's Next Horizon: South America
As the U.S.' attention is diverted to Canada and Mexico by the North American Free Trade Agreement, the European Union continues to make inroads in trade and investment in South America's southern cone, the continent's most politically stable and economically...
Is the World Ready for the Cyber-Report?
This is the Year of the Electronic Annual Report (Y.E.A.R.). Nearly two centuries removed from the advent of the world's first print AR (Baltimore Gas & Electric's in 1823), more companies than ever tried something modern, progressive, zippy.The...
Metering the Infobahn
The colorful and oversize paintings that hang in the New York headquarters of Wave Systems are an appropriate metaphor for the company's chairman and CEO, 56-year-old Peter Sprague. Before and during his 30 years as chairman of chip maker National Semiconductor,...
Millennium ... or Bust
Political instability and conflict are everywhere. The wars in the former Yugoslavia, the chaos of Rwanda, the civil war in Sri Lanka, and the battles for Kashir are daily fare. The struggles of the former communist states to build political democracies...
Mortal Combat: Stemming the Decline of Sales Ethics
We are in era of declining business ethics, heralded by headlines trumpeting unethical sales practices that have cost consumers dearly. The phrase "ethical selling" quickly is becoming just an oxymoron as consumers read about regulators warning 147 New...
Rebuilding Relationships
Early in the 1988 presidential campaign, I gave a talk on international trade and the need to reduce tariffs and quotas on imported goods. A few days later, I had lunch with the CEO of a large domestic textiles company. Though an avowed free-trade advocate,...
Re-Engineering Redux ... and Redux
In 1993, the respected management consultant James Champy scored a resounding coup with a remarkable book entitled, "Re-engineering the Corporation." The highly readable tome revealed how revered companies could retool, rethink, reorganize, and reinvigorate...
Saying Goodbye to Paper-Based Forms
Robert Harbage, chairman and CEO of Uarco, is in shirtsleeves, seated at a table strewn with half-empty coffee cups, and nursing a case of laryngitis. It's no surprise, given the 5 a.m.-to-midnight workdays he's been clocking as he engineers a transformation...
The Missing Link
American business has invested nearly $2 trillion in information technology. And what do we have to show for it? Some electronic forms, jazzy software applications, and e-mail. Ho hum. Suddenly, automating end-of-day summary reports doesn't really seem...
The Road Back
Speaker Newt Gingrich has a well-earned reputation for rhetorical flourish, which I witnessed during his recent appearance at The Economic Club of New York. One would not ordinarily expect him to single out FDR as the "single greatest political influence...
The Strange Case of Didier Pineau-Valencienne
When the chief executive of France's electrical giant Groupe Schneider was arrested by Belgian authorities last year on questionable charges of forgery and embezzlement, and thrown into jail without so much as a toothbrush, it sounded like a storyline...
The Testing Trap
American companies find themselves in a dilemma: In an increasingly competitive environment, with people as their most significant business asset, they can afford no less than to hire the best. Rigorous, scientific studies demonstrate that testing enables...
The Virtual CEO
One writer whose observations fascinate me is Charles Handy, author of "The Age of Unreason" and "The Age of Paradox."He recently did it again with an article on the "virtual organization" in the May/June 1995 issue of The Harvard Business Review. His...
The World's 10 Best and 10 Worst Annual Reports
The 171st year since the first printed annual report marks the birth of an epoch: The Electronic Age. Roll over, Herr Gutenberg.But the gilt an flash can't disguise that this year's crop of traditional print reports is the worst in recent memory. In...