Suh Doo Chil: EASTEL SYSTEMS

EASTEL SYSTEMS

"Most CEOS say, 'Follow me,'" says Suh Doo Chil. "I say, 'Let's go.'" As boss of South Korean telecom- equipment supplier Eastel Systems, Suh is confronting his country's rigid corporate culture. When he took over as CEO three years ago, the company had posted a $57 million loss, debt was out of control, and engineers were heading for the exits. Suh started paring debt and halved the work force, a gutsy move in layoff-averse Korea. The hard-driving Suh, who counts Jack Welch and Margaret Thatcher among his heroes, dismantled Eastel Systems' hierarchy, which stopped anybody from making a decision unless the...

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