Publishers Weekly, 1999-09-20 It would be hard to imagine a more scathing indictment of one man's career and character than this blistering saga by Byrne (Informed Consent), a senior writer for Business Week. Dubbed "Chainsaw Al" for his management style, which featured massive layoffs, Dunlap became a business star when he appeared to have turned around the ailing Scott Paper Co. and then arranged its sale to Kimberley-Clark, a move that made millions for Scott's shareholders and executives. After leaving Scott, Dunlap was recruited by mutual fund manager Michael Price to improve the lethargic stock price of Sunbeam, and Dunlap immediately went to work, slashing thousands of jobs and shutting dozens of plants. His strategy was to fatten up the company's bottom line as quickly as possible and then sell the company. But as Wall Street supported Dunlap's tactics by increasing the company's stock price, Sunbeam became impossible to sell. By Byrne's account, Dunlap, desperate to find a way to hide the shortcuts and questionable business practices he had used to "make the numbers" in 1997, went on an acquisition spree, buying three companies at inflated prices. But the acquisitions increased Sunbeam's debt, and when it became clear that Dunlap had lost control of the company, he was forced to resign. During his career, Dunlap created no shortage of enemies, who were more than willing to share their views with Byrne. Byrne captures the chaos that became Sunbeam in this sizzling tale of what can happen when greed trumps all other management considerations. (Oct.) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
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