Soap Opera

To New York's Idlewild Airport on a sunny morning sped Charles Luckman, 40, the hustling, $300,000-a-year president of Lever Bros. There, a sleek Constellation rolled to a halt and from it stepped his two bosses, who also happen to be two of the world's most potent tycoons—pipe-smoking Sir Geoffrey Heyworth, boss of Britain's Lever Brothers & Unilever, Ltd., and Paul Rykens, boss of Holland's Lever Brothers & Unilever N.V. Between them, Sir Geoffrey and Rykens run the globe-girdling Lever soap empire with some 500 subsidiaries in over 40 countries.

Blue-eyed Chuck Luckman greeted them warmly, bundled them into his waiting...

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