Executive View: Why Tax Success?

Quick, now, who is the chairman of Exxon? Or U.S. Steel? Probably not even their shareholders know for sure. But the stockholders of Citizens Utilities Co., of Stamford, Conn., certainly know Richard Rosenthal. They constitute a Rosenthal fan club. By the hundreds, they write him letters that can only be called adoring. The chairman—who at 64 is wiry, bouncy and still strawberry blond—collects the mash notes between burgundy leather covers, answers them all, and elaborates in philosophical, ego-massaging (his own and the shareholders') messages in annual and interim reports, which he writes himself. Very largely, he writes about capital.

Rosenthal never...

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