Is Showbiz No Biz For Itt?

Its forays into entertainment have met trouble

Few chief executives have had careers as Forrest Gump-like as ITT's Rand V. Araskog. In the 1970s, when conglomerates were the rage, Araskog ran ITT as the definitive conglomerate, with divisions doing everything from baking Twinkies to renting Avis cars. In the 1980s, Araskog discovered the art of the deal as he sold more than 200 businesses. By the 1990s, ITT was a lackluster performer, and the well-paid Araskog became the poster boy for excessive CEO pay. Again he remade himself, this time as a shareholder-return crusader who split the old ITT into three pieces in 1995.

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