Western Europe: Local Man Makes Good

Some of the best American executives, like some of the best French wines, do not travel very well. When sent across to manage European subsidiaries, U.S. businessmen (and their wives) may stumble over the local language, bruise local sensibilities, and hanker to return to the center of power back at the home office. For this reason—and for a lot of others—U.S. companies are increasingly turning over control of their foreign outposts to European-bred local managers. Says Arthur K. Watson, chairman of IBM's international subsidiary: "It is far easier to develop company...

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