PERSONNEL: New Boss for Lever

In his office in Racine, Wis., Jervis J. Babb, executive vice president of S. C. Johnson & Son, Inc. (floor wax), got an unexpected phone call from New York City. Sir Geoffrey Heyworth, chairman of the global Unilever soap empire, had never met Jerry Babb, but he wanted to. Would Mr. Babb have lunch in Chicago that week with him and Paul Rykens, boss of Unilever's Dutch affiliate?

At the luncheon, Sir Geoffrey and Rykens politely questioned Babb about his background. "But it was plain," Babb related afterward, "that they already knew everything about me. So I wasn't sure what...