Jirka Rysavy, CEO of Corporate Express Inc., doesn't waste time worrying. On Mar. 5, the day his company's stock price plummeted 47%, he calmly wrapped up his day and, as he does each evening, drove his Jeep up a winding road to his mountain hideaway for a few hours of meditation and reflection before turning in for a full night's sleep. "To panic in a crisis is the worst thing you can do," he explains. "When I go to sleep, I just go to sleep."
Rysavy (his name is pronounced YER-ka RIS-a-vee) is hardly your typical CEO. A master dealmaker, he built Corporate Express, an office products and services empire with revenues of $3.2 billion, in a decade. Yet he lives a solitary and ascetic life, meditating up to eight hours a day and communing with wild bears. All of which makes this Czechoslovakian emigre's rise to riches in the hip and affluent enclave of Boulder, Colo., a perfect post-cold-war, New Age rendition of the American Dream.