¶ George Romney, 47, moved up from executive vice president of American Motors Corp. to president, succeeding the late George W. Mason (TIME, Oct. 18). Though Mason had been interested in a possible merger with Studebaker-Packard, one of Romney's first acts was to announce that "there are no mergers under way either directly or indirectly." The son of an old Mormon family and still a Mormon church reader, Romney earned his first money at eleven, harvesting sugar. He worked his way through Salt Lake City's Latter-day Saints' College, did the traditional Mormon missionary stint in England for two years, and then returned to Utah for further study. In 1929 he attended George Washington University in Washington, D.C. At the same time, he worked for Massachusetts Senator David Walsh on tariff matters, doing much of the spadework on the famed Hawley-Smoot tariff bill. The next year he joined Aluminum Co. of America, among other jobs was a door-to-door salesman in Los Angeles before returning to Washington as a lobbyist for the company when it was investigated on antitrust charges in 1937. He joined the Automobile Manufacturers Association in 1939 and rose to managing director. Romney became good friends with George Mason, then president of the A.M.A. When Mason became chairman of Nash in 1948, he invited Romney along "to learn the business from the ground up" as his roving assistant.
¶ F. A. Ferroggiaro, 64, became board chairman of California's Bank of America, the world's biggest private bank, replacing A. J. Gock, 65, who retired. Fred Ferroggiaro has been with the bank longer than any other employee, starting as a messenger boy in 1906. He was made vice president in 1931, executive vice president in 1940, and from 1944 on also supervised the bank's major loans (e.g., to Henry Kaiser, Israel, etc.). Given the chairmanship as an honorarium, he will retire on his 6 5th birthday next May. ¶ Carleton Putnam, 52, announced that he would step down as board chairman of Atlanta's Delta Air Lines, Inc. this week. A well-to-do Princeton graduate ('24), Putnam bought his own plane, became so enthusiastic about flying that he formed Chicago & Southern Air Lines in 1934. When C. & S. merged with Delta last year, Putnam tangled with Delta President C. E. Woolman over the lower-echelon jobs given C. & S. executives. ¶ Gale B. ("Gus") Aydelott, 40, became vice president and general manager of the Denver & Rio Grande Western Railroad, as such will be the line's top operating boss. He succeeds K. L. Moriarty, who went to work for New York Central President A. E. Perlman, formerly executive vice president of the D. & R. G. W. Starting as a D. & R. G. W. gang laborer in 1936, Aydelott worked his way up as track inspector, chief mechanical officer and division superintendent.