How Good A Mechanic Is Tony Burns?

For most of the 1980s, Ryder System Inc. was a Wall Street darling. M. Anthony Burns, its young, voluble chairman, charmed analysts as much with his outspoken optimism as with his 100 acquisitions and heady 15% annual profit growth. But when the cracks started to show in Ryder's growth-by-acquisition strategy in late 1988, Wall Street stopped listening. Burns's reaction was upbeat: "In the future, we'll let the numbers do the talking."

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