Business: Highflying Ghost

Italian businessmen call Eugenio Cefis "the ghost" because of his aversion to publicity. The low-profile approach is understandable. A former anti-Nazi resistance fighter and onetime head of ENI, the government oil agency, Cefis indulges an un-Italian predilection for sandwich-and-milk lunches at his desk. In 1971, at the age of 50, he became the head of Montedison S.p.A., Italy's biggest industrial concern but a shaky one. He promptly spun off about 15% of its operations and began a series of acquisitions that made Montedison the producer of 80% of Italy's synthetic fibers, 33% of its chemicals, 10% of its Pharmaceuticals and 40%...

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