The Cowboy Driving Oldsmobile

JOHN ROCK HAS NEVER FITTED THE GENERAL MOTORS MOLD, EVEN though he spent 32 years as a GM troubleshooter in posts all over the world. He always refused to join a country club, instead preferring to build roads and dig wells on his 185-acre Montana spread. He seldom hid his differences with GM's top brass, often phrasing his protests in barnyard epithets. Last year, when he found himself sidelined in a staff job, the restless Rock prepared to take one of GM's early-retirement packages.

But Rock was just the kind of maverick that GM's new president, Jack Smith, was looking for...

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