Did Laidlaw Strike Fool's Gold?

When Donald K. Jackson took over as chief executive of Laidlaw Inc. in August, he had every reason to look ahead with considerable cheer. Founded in the late 1950s, Laidlaw had evolved from a small trucking company into a waste-management powerhouse and big school-bus operator. As one of Canada's fastest-growing companies--revenues climbed ninefold, to $1.7 billion, during the `80s--Laidlaw attracted an ardent following among investors in Toronto and New York. But soon after he settled in, Jackson thrust himself into an unusual role for a new CEO--that of corporate sleuth.

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