"No question about it, this is his pattern," says TIME's Wall Street columnist Daniel Kadlec. "He likes to come in, make bold and drastic cuts, and make himself and the company look great." (that clumsiness with the AMA notwithstanding). "Then he dumps it."
How's Scott Paper, Dunlap's last labor, doing these days? Swallowed by Kimberly-Clark. How about former charge Lily-Tulip Inc.? Now a lean, mean division of Fort Howard Paper Co. Once Dunlap's bum-to-plum magic act is done lining shareholder pockets (Dunlap himself owns several million in Sunbeam stock), he takes the last sure price-boosting step: feeding it to a big rival. Then — poof! — he's gone.
And everybody's happy. Which is why some time after Sunbeam disappears into the maw of some hungry home-products giant, you can figure on Al popping up again, chainsaw drawn, at the helm of some or other troubled ship. The trick is to buy stock before he gets there.