The last outsider named heir to the top job at boatmaker Brunswick, John Reilly, lasted less than a year, departing in June, 1994, after clashes with Chairman Jack Reichert and his chief deputy, Dianne Yaconetti. Now comes Peter Larson: On Apr. 3, Brunswick announced Larson would become CEO, taking over as chairman when Reichert retires this fall.
Larson, 55, helped guide Kimberly-Clark's dash into the diaper business in the 1980s, then steered Johnson & Johnson's consumer and personal care group, expanding Tylenol's franchise. "He brings a lot of energy and excitement," says Sanford C. Bernstein analyst Kenneth Abramowitz.
Brunswick has mixed prospects. The company's financials are strong: It posted net income of $129 million last year, up 137%, on sales of $2.7 billion. But the boatmaker has to meet new emissions laws for engines, and it faces competition from rejuvenated rival Outboard Marine. And Larson must maintain cordial relations with Reichert and Yaconetti. His advantage there: He'll run the show from day one.