British Air: Not Cricket

In his 50-year career in British business, John L. King was known for being publicly charming and privately cunning. Sir Colin Marshall had a reputation as a shrewd survivor of executive-suite battles. The two men came together in 1983 to run British Airways PLC, the privatized flag carrier that had grown shamefully fat and unprofitable. As the detail man who oversaw layoffs and restructurings, Marshall helped whip an obese, second-rate carrier into the world's most profitable airline.

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