PRO AND (MOSTLY) CON ON AL DUNLAP
It is disheartening that "The Shredder" (Cover Story, Jan. 15), on the reorganization and sale of Scott Paper Co. [to Kimberly-Clark Corp.], concentrates on laid-off workers--who are portrayed as unfortunate, hopeless, even crippled victims of restructuring. The thousands of shareholders who benefited receive little coverage. They include single mothers, widows, students saving for college, elderly stroke victims, etc. That these shareholders were able to get a very good return on their investment is an integral piece of the story.
Scott L. Barbee
Dunlap appears to be the embodiment of capitalism run amok--without heart, soul, or conscience. I am especially outraged at his assertion that stakeholders are "rubbish." These are the same stakeholders that presumably constitute Scott Paper's consumer base. Dunlap eviscerated Scott Paper for short-term benefit and misled stakeholders from day one of his reign of terror about his intention for the company. This exercise in "value creation" has done little except disrupt the lives of thousands of hard-working people and cast well-deserved aspersions on the system of free enterprise.
I hope Dunlap's retirement is permanent. I believe his tenure at Scott will go down as a textbook example of management without values, management without a socially useful vision--bankrupt of new-product ideas and driven by greed. Wherever possible, I will use only the products of Scott's competitors, and I'm sure your article will prompt many others to do the same.
We have been time-managed, benchmarked, reengineered, downsized, right-sized, and RIF'd [reduced in force]. Now, we've been "Dunlapped." From the perspective of one of those remaining, to be "Dunlapped" is to do the work that five other friends used to do, to extend the workday from 9-10 to 11-12 hours, and to receive a reduced bonus.
Richard T. Englund
We'll be using the BUSINESS WEEK story in our classes to illustrate what can go wrong with corporate governance and ethics.
Joseph E. McCann
Dean, School of Business
Pacific Lutheran University
I have no respect for someone who makes money by destroying companies for profit, especially someone who does it gleefully. He is nothing but a serial corporate murderer.
Paul J. Wetor
While Dunlap has certainly "cut the fat" out of Scott Paper, he has also managed to slit its throat. If "Chainsaw Al" represents the CEO of tomorrow, God help us all.
St. Petersburg, Fla.
Dunlap and his six-person operating committee were absolutely brilliant as greed's Magnificent Seven. All in American business who applaud--in the name of investors--the actions of this unconscionable man and his buddies should enjoy watching ghouls feast on corpses.
Woodmoor Group Executive Search
Monument, Colo.Return to top
WHY COMMERCE CAN'T FIX ITS CALCULATOR
Your editorial "How not to measure the U.S. economy" (Jan. 15) begins with some understandable concerns but reaches some mistaken conclusions.
The Commerce Dept. is concerned, as you are, about the problem of measuring the changing quality of output such as software, health care, or other innovative sectors. In fact, our program to do so is the acknowledged world leader. But neither we nor anybody else has the answer. Our revision will allow analysts to make their own judgments absent definitive answers.
When we have numbers that are as reliable as the other components of gross domestic product, we'll use them. Your proposal essentially argues that we [wait to] revise GDP data when it's convenient, as opposed to under a system of objective procedures. Who determines that? Should Washington players decide when it's a good or bad time to revise the economic data? It sounds like a good idea in theory but a bad one in practice.
Everett M. Ehrlich
Under Secretary for Economic Affairs
WashingtonReturn to top