Executives: The Cloistered Chief

From the days of Commodore Vanderbilt and J. P. Morgan through such recent victims as U.S. Steel's Roger Blough, many big businessmen have shown at crucial moments a surprising inability to influence—or even to gauge—the public mind. Last week another businessman, Clarence Randall, 71, retired chairman of Chicago's Inland Steel Co., offered his own explanation. Wrote Randall in the New York Times Magazine: "Responsibility breeds isolation . . . After an executive reaches the very top, he is seldom seen in public and seldom heard. He becomes a myth." The result is...

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