THE MODERN FIRM EMERGES
By 1958, Air Products was a business with substantial technical resources, and a strong track record. It was still very much Leonard Pool's creation, a family enterprise that had implemented a series of successful business strategies and acquired a strong position in several important markets. It was also a company grappling with the transition from late entrant in an established field to early and major player in newly emerging technologies. The managers of a much-enlarged Air Products found themselves struggling to exploit the opportunities offered by the enhanced scale of the firm's operations, and by the scope of markets that were now both national and international. Those managers began to sense the need for better means of exercising administrative control. They were also learning how to make decisive contributions to the manner in which Air Products innovated and the growth path it followed.
During the sixties and seventies, these patterns of development would be much extended (Table 6). Financial, legal, and human resources issues would take on a greater importance. The internal organization of the firm would become an important issue, successfully addressed by Ed Donley. An enlarged company could no longer depend on one charismatic figure to call all the shots. While Leonard Pool would exercise a veto over strategic decisions until his death in 1975, the company's managers and their divisions would generate more and more of the ideas about how and in what directions the business should grow. Their plans would be especially important because the corporation would use its strong credit capacity to finance new ventures. The change of the company name, to Air Products and Chemicals, Inc. (APCI), symbolized the widening scope of its ambitions.