Management: Toward Freer Circles

"I wish more freedom of personal action than I believe is in some circles deemed proper if I remain president of Prudential." So said Carrol M. Shanks, 62, announcing his resignation last week as boss of the giant Prudential Insurance Co. of America.

Earlier this year Shanks learned the hard way the limits on the personal actions of the man who publicly presides over the second-largest U.S. life insurance company (first: Metropolitan Life Insurance Co.). He made a personal deal with Georgia-Pacific Corp., a big Prudential borrower, to buy timber, then let a Georgia-Pacific subsidiary cut enough of...

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