Corporations: Top Banana

After decades of prosperity that made it synonymous — often unfairly — with Yanqui imperialism, United Fruit Co. suddenly found itself with a host of overripe problems in the late 1950s. In fact, concedes Herbert C. Cornuelle, 47, who last month became president of the world's largest banana grower and marketer: "The reason we look so good now is that it was awfully bad before it got better." As that appraisal guardedly suggests, United Fruit has made a rather striking comeback.

Away with Big Mike. The company's sales have increased from $304...

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