Management: The Trade in Mustard Cutters

High-priced executives are job-hopping across the U.S. as never before. In the Midwest last week, a leading engine builder sadly watched his cherished production chief move on to a firm that makes recreational gear. Farther east, one of the nation's biggest manufacturing companies lost a top manager to a Wall Street brokerage house. Behind these and dozens of similar moves lay a major new force in the U.S. corporate life: the executive recruitment firm.

Not yet 20 years old as a major trade, executive recruitment came into flower after World War II, when the diversion of bright young men...

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