Dhanin Chearavanont isn't ashamed to say he wants to retire. Still putting in 14-hour workdays at age 65, the chairman and CEO of Charoen Pokphand Group (CP)--Thailand's one truly multinational corporation--says he has found time to meditate on the possibilities of voluntary idleness (he's worth about $1.3 billion, according to Forbes). Maybe he would unmoor his yacht and sail off into the South China Sea. Or maybe he'd head to his farm and tend to his prized fighting cocks. Maybe. It's just that things keep cropping up at work, he explains.

Things like the aftermath of Asia's 1997 economic meltdown. Dhanin...

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