The Hard Driver At Valeo's Wheel

Back in 1986, Italian industrialist Carlo DeBenedetti was having trouble finding a new boss for Valeo, a sick French company in which he had just bought a 16% stake. Mused a colleague: "What we need is someone like Nol Goutard"--a highly regarded executive. DeBenedetti agreed. He persuaded Goutard to give up the presidency of a top French company--electronics giant Thomson--to run Valeo, a moribund maker of auto parts, dredges, and construction materials in which red ink had flowed for three years.

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