Business: Abrasion at Burlington

William A. Klopman, 52, was not the betting favorite to become president of Burling ton Industries; his abrasive personality had made him unpopular with some other executives of the world's largest textile company (annual sales: $2 billion). Nonetheless, Klopman, then head of the apparel-fabrics division, was chosen last April over three other executive vice presidents, largely because he had been running a segment of Burlington that was generating a hearty share of the company's earnings. Indeed, Klopman, a tall, lantern-jawed New Yorker who had helped his father run a family company that Burlington bought in 1956, is known throughout the industry...

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