Home » Author Archives: jonathan burton (page 2)

Author Archives: jonathan burton

Separated at Birth

Over the past eight years, Textron has delivered the “consistent growth” it promises in its annual report. Employees and shareholders are enthused. Its encore? How about a new CEO?Under CEO James F. Hardymon, this Providence, RI-based conglomerate-what’s now called a “multi-industry” company-has posted 33 consecutive quarters of year-over-year earnings gains. In fact, in his 36-year business career-28 of them at ...

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A Double-Barrelled Approach

Oddly enough for someone who staked his entire business career on beating the clock, Frederick W. Smith is taking a wait-and-see approach toward his latest and boldest gamble for Federal Express. But Smith recognizes that FedEx didn’t become an overnight sensation overnight; similarly, the structural changes he’s making within the package delivery giant now will take time to reach fruition.In ...

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Through A Lens, Darkly

As a photographer, Robert Stauth creates colorful double exposures of landscapes and sunsets by transforming familiar scenes into a single, seamless image. That’s exactly what Stauth is attempting at Fleming Cos., the Oklahoma City-based food marketer and distributor where he’s spent most of his 40 years in the food services business-the last four as chief executive. Here, Stauth’s formidable task ...

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The Stars That Make Jack Shine

Jack Welch is practically a household name, almost a GE brand unto himself. But he doesn't do it alone. He's fielded a formidable starting line-up and charged his team with ushering GE into the next century.

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The House that John Built

When he was hired as chairman and CEO of SPX Corp. in December 1995, John Blystone knew that turning around the troubled Muskegon, MI-based producer of specialty tools and original equipment components to the automotive industry would be no joyride. After building a solid reputation selling specialty tools and diagnostic equipment to auto dealers and mechanics, SPX had faltered, piling ...

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Taking Credit

Richard Fairbank knows where you live. He knows the stores you shop at, the restaurants you frequent, and the last credit card purchase you made. Understanding how people spend money—and how much they spend—is part of Fairbank’s job as chairman and CEO of Capital One Financial Corp., one of the country’s top-10 issuers of Visa and MasterCard credit cards. Ever ...

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No Tickets to Ride

Travis Tanner is mapping a new itinerary for the travel industry: working for the customer. For years, travel agents received most of their commissions from suppliers, mainly the airlines. But the co-chief executive of Carlson Wagonlit Travel has a different view. “You had customers who wanted to save money, and suppliers who had higher yields,” says Tanner, who took the ...

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Dressed For Success

In the unforgiving fashion world, where most designers don’t get a second glance, let alone a second chance, Gucci has got the look. At fashion shows in Milan, Italy, last spring, the Italian maker of clothing and accessories, well-known for quality goods and family conflict, basically knocked the pants off the critics with its reborn line of sexy, sophisticated clothes.Gucci ...

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Ma Bell’s Prodigal Son

Three weeks after joining Merrill Lynch  & Co. to run its fledgling satellite communications network in 1983, Bob Annunziata had already decided to make big changes. Concluding that the company’s focus was off-course, he challenged his superiors: “Let’s compare this satellite business to where the real money is going to be.”Annunziata was among the first telephone industry executives to understand ...

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Out Of The Woods

For most of his nearly 30 years in the investment business, Stephen B. Timbers concerned himself with identifying and buying growth stocks at what he considers a reasonable price. Now he is committed to one of the riskier bets of his long career: revamping the stale Kemper family of mutual funds into a fresh contender. The Kemper funds’ chief executive ...

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