Mean Business: How I Save Bad Companies and Make Good Companies Great

Albert Dunlap, Author, Bob Andelman, With Crown Business $25 (289p) ISBN 978-0-8129-2837-2
Company turnaround specialist Dunlap is termed by his critics ""Rambo in Pinstripes"" or ""Chainsaw Al."" Most recently notable for a 16-month stint at Scott Paper during which company stock rose 163% (Dunlop sold off non-core businesses and cut executive perks), he now heads the appliance maker Sunbeam. Dunlap scorns trendy management theories and considers downsizing not a bandwagon action but a response to a company's fundamental weaknesses. His formula appears deceptively simple: pick a good (and small) team, figure out what business you are in, concentrate only on that, cut costs and market your product well. He approaches boards in a similar fashion, arguing that all directors should buy stock when they join, be paid only in stock, serve no more than five years and never forget they work for the stockholders. Much of Dunlap's argument makes sense, and he is probably right when he says that he would not be hired if managers had done their jobs right. But, having made his reputation now, he'd do well to take the chip off his shoulder and stop positioning himself as ""A Nothing Kid from Hoboken"" who takes cheap shots at Harvard M.B.A.s. Author tour. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 07/29/1996
Release date: 08/01/1996
Genre: Nonfiction
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