A Bittersweet Harvest For American MaizeElizabeth Lesly
William Ziegler III, longtime chairman and chief executive of American Maize-Products Co., has suffered many indignities in recent years. In 1993, the 67-year-old had to hand over the CEO reins to a younger executive who promptly squeezed sharply higher profits from the laggard corn-products and tobacco company. Next to go were Ziegler's perks: The three company planes were axed, as were the jobs for his children, including the one whose work included racing a Maize-sponsored sailboat. The family of Helen Ziegler Steinkraus, Ziegler's sister and a major shareholder, sued, arguing that Ziegler had run the company improperly. Finally, on June 28, Ziegler's largely handpicked board unceremoniously stripped him of his chairman's title.
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