Can Valeo's Driver Keep Up His Winning Streak?

Now, Goutard must revamp a newly acquired ITT unit

In corporate suites from New York to Hong Kong, chief executives view 1999 with foreboding. Between banking collapse in Japan, depression in Asia, recession in Latin America, and a U.S. slowdown, they find few bright spots. But Noel Goutard, chief executive of $7.4 billion French auto supplier Valeo, sees opportunities where others see danger. "You can transform a company faster in recession than when the market is booming," he says.

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