Korean Contact

Charges against Bechtel

The 39,000 employees at Bechtel, the international construction firm with headquarters in San Francisco (1983 revenues: $14 billion), rarely get much personal correspondence from Chairman Stephen Bechtel Jr., 58. Many of them therefore were surprised last week when they received an eight-paragraph "management memo" directly from the chairman and signed simply "Steve." Once they started reading, surprise turned to shock. "Over the weekend," began the memo, "you have probably read or heard news-media reports of allegations that a consultant may have made improper payments in Korea. These allegations are very serious since they attack our most valuable asset—Bechtel's hard-earned...

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