MANAGEMENT: Meat Cutter's Triumph

In 1950, Indianapolis' 107-year-old Kingan & Co., Inc. was the seventh largest meat-packing firm in the U.S., but way down the list in profits. To jack them up, Kingan's directors lured H. Frederick Willkie, brother of the late Wendell Willkie, away from his $100,000 vice president's job at Joseph E. Seagram & Sons Inc., installed him as president. Kingan's conservative President "W.R." Sinclair agreed to step aside while Willkie worked on the patient.

Willkie agreed to a $60,000-a-year salary at Kingan because, he said, the job presented a "challenge." It did, in...

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