Most executives would think at least twice before agreeing to take over the management of a multinational food company plagued by heavy losses, bitter internal feuds and a sensational international bribery scandal. When Wallace W. Booth was first offered the chief executive's job at United Brands Co. two months ago, he promptly declined. Booth did not feel that his experience suited him for running a food company. During 20 years with Ford Motor Co., he played a major role in setting up the company's financial control system, became a director and eventually...

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