Corporations: Taking the Right Tack

Yachtsmen who have sailed aboard Rupert C. Thompson's 40-ft. cutter Dorinda know that, come what may, Thompson is as placid as pool water at the helm. While his tense crew struggled to run down a damaged sail and hoist a new one in the midst of a hot race last year, Thompson looked on with barely a word, leaving his men to perform their work unbothered. That is just the kind of ship that "Rupe" Thompson, 59, runs as chairman of Textron Inc., New England's second largest firm and certainly one of the nation's most widely diversified. Once a...

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