After 39 years with Kennecott Copper Corp., E. Tappan Stannard, 66, decided to retire. He had joined Kennecott in 1911 as a mining engineer in Chile, risen to general manager of Kennecott's Alaska mines five years later, and moved into the presidency in 1933. Under him, Kennecott, biggest copper producer in the U.S., boosted sales from $50 million to $350 million a year.

Before he retired, Stannard and Kennecott directors made sure that they had the right man to replace him. Since they were planning to spend $10 million to help develop gold mines in Africa, they picked Arthur Storke, 54,...

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